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Elon College, North Carolina 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 

Character Buildin 
in Colleges 



President, Elon College 





Copyright, 1928, by 

All rights reserved, including that of translation into 
foreign languages, including the Scandinavian 

Printed in tae United States of America 


Mr. and Mrs. Michael Orban, Jr. 
donors of the first christian 
education building erected 
on an american college campus. 



A Noble Quartet 7 

Foreword 9 

I. Jesus and Youth — An Educational 

View 13 

II. The Objective of Education 26 

III. When is a College Christian? 51 

IV. The Curriculum and Christian 

Character 69 

V . Our Present Agencies and Christian 

Character 96 

VI. Bible and Religious Education in 

Colleges 133 

VII . Christian Union and Christian Edu- 
cation 158 

VIII . The Next Step for Church Colleges 

in Religious Education 178 

IX. Altering Attitudes 190 

X. What is Life's Objective? 206 

XI. Motivating Christian Life Choices. 221 


Of all the dispositions and habits which 
lead to political prosperity, religion and moral- 
ity are indispensable supports. Reason and 
experience both forbid that national morality 
can prevail in exclusion of religious princi- 
ples. Promote these as an object of primary 
importance in institutions for the general dif- 
fusion of knowledge. — George Washington. 

A man who is educated in mind but not in 
morals is a menace to society. — Theodore 

Our civilization cannot survive materially 
unless it be redeemed spiritually. It can be 
saved only by becoming permeated with the 
spirit of Christ and being made free and happy 
by the practices which spring out of that 
spirit. — Woodrow Wilson. 

All of our learning and science, our culture 
and our arts, will be of little avail unless they 
are supported by high character. A trained 
intelligence can do much, but there is no sub- 
stitute for morality, character, and religious 
convictions. Unless these abide,, American 
citizenship will be found unequal to the task. 
— Calvin Coolidge. 



Six chapters of this discussion were pre- 
pared for the semicentennial of the organiza- 
tion of the Y.M.CA in American Colleges on 
an intercollegiate basis, held at the University 
of Virginia October 13-16, 1927. The theme 
of the "Faculty-Student Conference" held in 
connection with the celebration was "Jesus 
and Our Generation." The sessions were held 
in Madison Hall, of the University. 

The first chapter was given as an address 
before the entire conference of both faculty 
members and students of the Virginia colleges 
in which men are students. Representatives 
of all such Virginia colleges participated in 
the celebration. The other five chapters of the 
series were presented each in a "Faculty Con- 
ference/' followed by open discussion, the ses- 
sions in each case lasting an hour and a half. 

The fine group of faculty members present 
adopted their findings at the conclusion of 
their separate conferences, in which they rec- 
ommended the wider circulation of the papers 
and discussions of them on each campus. 
These findings were as follows : 

"The Findings Committee wishes to express 
its appreciation of the scholarly and sugges- 



tive papers that have been presented to us by 
President Harper. They have called atten- 
tion to some facts that should be included in 
our programs on the several campuses. 

"In the first place, attention is called to the 
need on our campuses of a progressive, states- 
manlike leadership and organization which 
will completely integrate the religious life 
with the other necessary activities. This 
means a more comprehensive and co-operative 
spirit on the part of the faculty, using their 
natural leadership for spiritual ends. 

"In the second place, the progressive spirit 
of this meeting should be carried back to the 
faculties of our respective colleges, the sev- 
eral colleges by which and through which these 
meetings can be continued from year to year. 
And for this end we recommend that the 
Y.M.C.A. foster another such program this 
coming year. 

"In the third place, we are beginning to 
realize that if we want our civilization Chris- 
tian, we must get back to the care of the cur- 
riculum in our colleges which are turning out 
our leaders in all the spheres of life. We 
not only must be instrumental in Christian- 
izing our environments, but we must put at 
the center of our college 'Organized Curricu- 
lum' sufficient religious information and train- 


ing to develop Christian attitudes, loyalties, 
and ideals. This simply means that what we 
want in the lives of our next generation must 
be put into the curriculum for our youths. 

"In the last place, we find that the several 
papers that have been given to us are condu- 
cive to provoking much valuable thought, and 
that the faculties at home should have an op- 
portunity to read each and every one of them : 
therefore, we recommend that they be printed, 
so that they can be distributed and therefore 
be of more service to our colleges." 

In response to these findings and to sug- 
gestions from a group of Christian college fac- 
ulty members in Kentucky where the lectures 
were also given, and upon the solicitation of 
several leading individuals whose judgment 
ranks them high in American education, it has 
been thought well to issue the addresses in per- 
manent form with the hope that they may be 
found profitable for discussion by faculties and 
student groups in other States as well as in 
Virginia and Kentucky. 

Chapters I, II, III, IV, V, and XI constitute 
the Virginia and Kentucky lectures. Chapters 
VI and VIII were prepared originally for the 
Council of Church Boards of Education and 
in substance appeared in Christian Education. 
They are reproduced here with permission, 


though in revised form. Chapter VII was 
given in substance as an address before The 
Christian Unity' Conference, held in Balti- 
more, January 12 and 13, 1928, and later 
appeared in The Christian Union Quarterly. 
It appears here in revised form. The eleven 
chapters form what is believed to be a prac- 
tical approach to one of the absorbing prob- 
lems of our higher educational life and upon 
whose progressive and satisfying solution 
great issues hang. 

It is the author's judgment, following nearly 
a quarter century's experience as a college 
teacher and executive, that there is no more 
vital necessity confronting higher education 
in America to-day than the incorporation in 
the programs of our colleges of effective meth- 
ods of building of character in the students 
that throng these institutions. If this book 
can make any contribution in that direction, 
the author will be amply repaid. 

W. A. Harper. 




For some two hundred years now our col- 
leges have been increasingly pursuing the sci- 
entific method in all their departments. 
Parallel with this confidence in the scientific 
method, involving experimentation with what 
can be observed and what can be done, there 
has been a general tendency to belittle and 
discredit the place of philosophy as being a 
sort of sophistical playing with abstract ideas. 
We have seemingly forgotten the proper con- 
ception of philosophy as we have magnified 
in our educational progress the place of sci- 
ence. Philosophy properly understood means 
"a knowledge of general principles as explain- 
ing facts and existences." The consequence is, 
to quote from President Bell of Saint Ste- 
phen's College : "We are sending forth gradu- 
ates with diffused minds, scarcely fit to take 
command of their own lives or to co-operate in 
the development of a social state ; drifters into 
conformity and essential human futility ; easy 
victims to specious crowd psychologies; fol- 
lowers of what seem easy ways out; Bolshevist 



or Fascist in every attitude. They esteem 
themselves only creatures of their environ- 
ment and so they tend to become just that. 
They have little or no perception of standards 
— of truth, beauty, or goodness ; they have no 
goals of purposeful perfection with which to 
estimate values or by which to gauge achieve- 
ment. All these things are to them relative 
— relative not to absolutes but to expediency. 
Truth means to them litle more than a body 
of observable facts; beauty, conformity to 
fashion; goodness, doing the things that will 
make one comfortable or popular. Out of our 
most able youth, capable of high adventure, 
we are manufacturing mental and ethical 
jellyfish." 1 

Jesus, however, has become so paramount a 
figure in our thinking, life, and civilization 
that youth must take an attitude toward him 
and his program. It is impossible for a col- 
lege man in particular to escape this neces- 
sity. The open and implied references to Jesus 
in every subject of learning, in every instance 
of experience, make it impossible to sidestep 
his teachings. The weakness of our present 
educational process is found at this very point. 
The references and implications are inherent 

1 Saint Stephen's College Bulletin, vol. lxviii, No. 3, 
September, 1927, pp. 8-9. Used by permission. 



in every subject and in every situation, but 
we are so prone to analysis and so averse to 
synthesis that the student often times fails 
to sense the references or to appreciate the im- 
plications and he becomes, in the stern phrase 
of President Bell, in so far as this is true, an 
intellectual jellyfish. A course in the under- 
standing of Jesus is the best orientation course 
any college can offer, and in terms of him all 
learning becomes unified. The first obligation 
of Christian education is to give college stu- 
dents an insight into the place and program 
of Jesus. This obligation involves three es- 
sential things. 2 

The first need of the college student in his 
effort to understand Jesus is for intellectual 
clarification. It will not do to say to the youth 
of our day that any particular spiritual prin- 
ciple is true because Jesus enunciated it. They 
will not accept it upon authority. We must 
not take the attitude that such unwillingness 
on their part is evidence of irreverence, be- 
cause it is not. Authority is discredited in 
every realm of our experience and particu- 
larly in the moral and spiritual realm. The 
scientific method has rightful place in the 

2 For a full account of the author's views as touching 
youth and the foundational problems of life, see his Youth 
and Truth. The Century Company (1927), pp. 123f. 



student's thinking, and properly so, in his de- 
cision as to the ultimate value of any ethical 
or moral principles or spiritual teachings 
whatsoever. It is just as reverent to say that 
Jesus taught a certain principle because it is 
true as to say that the principle is true because 
Jesus taught it, and the difference in appeal 
to the student mind is incomparable. 

Students will be entitled not only to inves- 
tigate the authority of the teachings of Jesus, 
but to study him as a historical Character and 
to evaluate all of his teachings in terms of their 
sources. They will be under obligation to un- 
derstand him as a Teacher and as a Leader of 
men. The methods he employed, the attitudes 
that he expressed, the principles he enun- 
ciated, his general conception of truth as a 
growth, will, all of them, be subjects of intel- 
lectual inquiry on the part of the student 
mind. The person of Jesus, his relationship 
to God and his relationship to man will like- 
wise be the subject of diligent and reverent 
inquiry on the part of the college man, and it 
will be impossible likewise to close the door 
of inquiry as it affects the relationship be- 
tween science and religion, a relationship that 
is fundamental in any effort at an intellec- 
tual understanding of Jesus. 

Speaking of the relation existing between 


science and religion, the college man imbued 
in the recent and revolutionary discoveries of 
science, and conscious of the conservative 
views of so many Christian people, has an in- 
stinctive feeling that there is a conflict between 
science and religion. He is not wholly mis- 
taken in this feeling. There is in our day a 
conflict between the discoveries of science and 
the interpretation of these discoveries by 
Christian leaders, and there will always be 
necessity for just such conflict as this. It is 
the business of science to discover facts and 
to elucidate the laws of nature, to discover 
how the physical world goes on, and to publish 
all the facts which it has been able to substan- 
tiate from whatever source. It is not the pri- 
mary business of science to interpret spiritu- 
ally its own discoveries. This is the business 
of spiritual leadership in the final analysis, 
though as teachers scientists have the right 
to face the philosophical consequences of these 
discoveries. In this situation, however, they 
should understand and make clear to their 
students that they are philosophers and not 
scientists. They should frankly acknowledge 
that they are but amateurs in such philoso- 
phizing and that the ultimate interpretation 
of the facts they discover inheres necessarily 
in the spiritual leaders of the day who are or 



should be expert in such matters. If scientists 
would not try to force their philosophical un- 
derstanding of such a scientific theory as evo- 
lution, for example, on their pupils, there 
would be no attempt to restrain by law the 
teaching of the theory in the schools. Sci- 
entific evolution as a theory is one thing. Phil- 
osophical evolution is a far different thing. 
It is really a theology and as such has no place 
in the public schools of a nation where church 
and state are separate, and where religious 
freedom is constitutionally guaranteed. Sci- 
entists too should frankly acknowledge that 
their discoveries must necessarily precede 
spiritual interpretation and should, therefore, 
be slow to condemn our spiritual leadership 
for an unavoidable situation, because of which 
the spiritual interpretation of the facts of sci- 
ence must always follow after the discoveries 
of science. For this reason let us repeat, it 
is inevitable that immediately following a new 
scientific discovery there should be a period of 
so-called "conflict" between the "new discov- 
ery" and the "spiritual interpretation" there- 
of, which is ultimately the province of religion 
and which must follow in the very nature of 
things after the discovery has been made. It 
is the dogmatism, not to say the ignorance, of 
scientific men as much as the conservatism of 



spiritual leadership that produces the so-called 
ever-recurring "irrepressible conflict" between 
science and religion. When scientists have 
learned all the facts and laws of nature com- 
pletely, and when spiritual leaders have in- 
terpreted these facts and laws, then there can 
be no conflict. Science reveals to us the mind 
and will and purpose of God in the physical 
world, and religion reveals the mind and will 
and purpose of God in the spiritual world. 
Both revelations are of God, and between them 
there can be no ultimate conflict, but in this 
probationary stage of our ignorance in scien- 
tific matters and of conservatism in spiritual 
matters, there can be no escape from tempo- 
rary "conflict," so to speak, between the new 
discoveries of science and the necessary spir- 
itual interpretation which is the province of 
religion. We should encourage the scientist 
to continue his discoveries, and Christian lead- 
ers should rejoice at every fresh conquest and 
grasp it as an opportunity to give a new in- 
sight into God's way of working with men. 
Christian leaders should certainly not oppose 
new scientific truth because it seemingly con- 
flicts with long-cherished theological dogmas. 

The business of science is the discovery of 
truth, whether it arises out of the personal or 
the impersonal forces of our universe. 


The business of the Christian is the interpre- 
tation of the scientist's truth in terms of spir- 
itual life. And they are both coworkers with 
God in upbuilding the race of men. The col- 
lege man needs to know this mutual relation- 
ship and to comprehend all that it involves. 
It will greatly clarify our beclouding intellec- 
tual difficulties when we give to our thinking, 
developing college youth this inevitable view- 
point as the foundation of their intellectual 
and spiritual integrity. 

Jesus himself welcomes and urges the very 
type of inquiry which inspires the scientist in 
his patient investigation and study. It is 
this too which the student mind aspires to 
pursue. Jesus was not afraid of the truth. 
He taught openly and made his appeal to 
men's reason. Were he living to-day, he would 
no doubt want to teach biology or physics in 
a Christian college, because he would wish to 
be in the very thick of life's emerging prob- 
lems. These sciences would certainly be full 
of interest for him. His disciples boldly in- 
vited doubters, which is but another word for 
inquirers, to come and see for themselves 
whether the reports they gave were true or 
not, and he himself made a definite promise 
that there would be a spiritual principle al- 
ways operative in the minds and hearts of men 



that would lead them into all truth. It is this 
provision for the spiritual enlightenment and 
guidance of men that renders his teaching 
unique among the religious systems of the 
world. No other religion provides for such in- 
timate and personal spiritual fellowship as a 
constant guiding presence and influence in 
the daily life and conduct of men as Jesus 
provided through the promise of the Holy 

A second need, which many would place first 
in the progressive understanding of Jesus on 
the part of youth, is for ethical expression. 
The great student gatherings since the World 
War, for the most part, have been concerned 
with the ethical implications of the Christian 
program. They have been concerned accord- 
ingly with questions of industry, race, war, 
public opinion, missions, social service, the 
Christianization of our social order, and sim- 
ilar involvements of the principles Jesus 
taught. However, the Milwaukee Conference, 
held December 28, 1926-January 1, 1927, em- 
phasized also the intellectual and mystical 
qualities of our faith, and to this emphasis 
the student mind yielded a ready and heartfelt 
response. We are not to understand from 
this change of emphasis between the earlier 
gatherings of students and the more recent 



one that there is any antipathy between intel- 
lectual clarification and ethical expression. 
They should go hand in hand. There is to be 
no divorcement between intellectual concept 
and personal conduct, and the Christian stu- 
dent is increasingly to understand that the 
Christian program is not merely a matter of 
intellectual assent to certain generalized prin- 
ciples, but also the practical outfruiting of 
this program in definite living in the personal 
and social relations of men. 

In the realm of ethical expression the stu- 
dent is entitled to every opportunity to prac- 
tice the teaching of Jesus. John Dewey has 
long since taught us that college is not simply 
a preparation for life, but that it is life itself. 
Our campuses, therefore, should be genuine 
laboratories of experimentation in Christian 
living, and one of the most wholesome and 
inspiring situations of our day is the ready 
and exuberant willingness of our college youth 
to undertake, when they are given opportunity, 
to express their Christian principles in be- 
coming Christian programs. They must, how- 
ever, be encouraged without let or hindrance 
to apply the teachings of J esus ethically to all 
the personal, social, and institutional situa- 
tions of our modern life. Any disposition to 
limit the free and un trammeled pursuit to their 



ultimate conclusions of the teachings of Jesus 
in their ethical applications will be resented 
on the part of students and will nullify any 
further efforts of their elders, however lauda- 
tory or sincere, to make the place of Jesus 
rational according to their thinking. 

But Jesus is more than a Person to be in- 
tellectually conceived and ethically followed. 
He is pre-eminently a spiritual Seer. He can- 
not be adequately understood except in the 
realm of spiritual motivation. His teachings 
as to God, as to man, as to the world, and as 
to destiny — four great and absorbing inter- 
ests of the human mind and heart — are dy- 
namic. When he teaches that God is Father, 
loving Fattier, of all men and women and chil- 
dren everywhere, and that these spiritual chil- 
dren of his are brothers, one to another, with 
all that is implied in the proper relationships 
of brothers and sisters of such a Father, a 
spiritual dynamic for conduct is injected into 
the mind and heart of those who accept his 
teachings that cannot be satisfied until the 
whole world is brought not only to understand 
these teachings but to practice them as well. 
When he teaches that the world is not a force 
or power hostile and antagonistic to the high- 
er spiritual interests of life, but of such value 
that God himself loved it, as the arena wherein 


is to be eventually realized the kingdom of 
heaven, the real democracy of God, there 
arises in the heart of man the determination 
to make this world a place fit for this high 
purpose. And when Jesus further teaches that 
the destiny of man is to be an endless growth 
in spiritual concept and power, untrammeled 
by physical limitations, to be realized in a 
spiritual life begun on earth, never ending and 
with infinite challenges to progress, there is 
likewise born in the heart of the sincere ad- 
herent of his teachings the decision to live 
during this present experience a life that is 
thoroughly consistent with this eternal pro- 
gram. Our educational system will fail in 
its privilege in interpreting Jesus to our pres- 
ent-day students if it fails at any point to give 
to our youth the tremendous dynamics inher- 
ent in this spiritual motivation. 

But what are intellectual clarification, eth- 
ical expression, and spiritual motivation of 
life in the terms of the teachings and character 
of Jesus but the guidance of the student into 
a Christian philosophy of life? We dare not 
fail to enrich the mind and heart of youth 
with this uplifting and dynamic necessity for 
individual life and for social well-being. A 
man cannot be said to be educated until he 
has a philosophy of life, and as Christians we 



must agree that we have fallen short of our 
privilege educationally unless our students 
embrace as the all-inclusive principles of their 
living intellectually, ethically, and spiritually 
the Christian philosophy of life, the philoso- 
phy based on love as central in the universe 
and in the individual life, the philosophy 
which inspires a man to risk his life on his 
confidence that all life will respond to love as 
the organizing, synthesizing, integrating prin- 
ciple of living, whether human or divine. 




There was no uncertainty as to the object- 
ive of American education in colonial days. 
Harvard, founded in 1636, our first institution 
of higher learning, came into being to save the 
colonial churches from "an illiterate minis- 
try." William and Mary, founded in 1693, 
had the same fundamental purpose. Yale, 
founded in 1701, set forth as its purpose to 
prepare young men "for public employment, 
both in church and civil state." The charter 
of Columbia University, founded in 1753 as 
King's College, declared, "The chief thing that 
is aimed at in this college is to teach and to 
engage children to know God in Jesus Christ." 
And Dartmouth by the terms of its charter 
was designed to impart Christian knowledge 
"to savages." The religious objective was the 
fundamental objective in the minds of the 
founders of American education. 

Great changes have taken place in the con- 
stitution of American life since colonial days, 
and religion had practically passed out of the 
American college by the beginning of the twen- 



tieth century. In 1916 1 the Association of 
American Colleges defined "The Efficient Col- 
lege," and could find space for only eight sem- 
ester hours of Bible in the curriculum of such 
an institution and these eight semester hours 
were assigned to the Professor of Latin along 
with other subjects. Educators had many years 
before sensed this situation, and accordingly 
the Keligious Education Association was or- 
ganized in 1903 to offset it. President Wil- 
liam R. Harper, of the University of Chicago, 
was the moving spirit in this organization, 
which came into being with the definite pur- 
pose "to inspire the educational forces of our 
country with the religious ideal ; to inspire the 
religious forces of our country with the edu- 
cational ideal; and to keep before the public 
mind the ideal of Religious Education and 
the sense of its need and value." 

It may be generally said that the outstand- 
ing characteristic of our American colleges 
, today is the general disagreement as to what 
education is for. It will be well to make a 
few quotations from an almost limitless num- 
ber which could be cited as indicative of this 
general disagreement. 

The first witness shall be that educational 

bulletin of Association of American Colleges, vol. ii, p. 
65f. February, 1916. 



prophet of a former generation to whom ref- 
erence has already been made, William R. 
Harper, who said : "If a man has reached the 
age of twenty-five without a fairly good theory 
about life, or the age of thirty without a settled 
philosophy of life, no matter how much else 
that man may know, he is an ignoramus." 2 

Professor Leon B. Richardson, after a care- 
ful investigation of colleges of this and other 
countries, made a special report in 1924 to the 
president of Dartmouth College, in which he 
set forth the purpose of the college in these 
words: "When we consider all aspects of the 
problem we must, I think, come to the conclu- 
sion that the purpose of the college is primari- 
ly intellectual. . . . The college must do other 
things than train the intellect, but it must see 
to it that such intellectual training is never 
lost sight of as its guiding principle." 3 

President Coffman, of the University of 
Minnesota, takes vigorous issue with those who 
maintain that the sole purpose of an institu- 
tion of higher learning is intellectual training. 
He insists that along with intellectual growth 
there must come the immeasurable things of 

2 William R. Harper, The Trend in Higher Education. 
The University of Chicago Press (1905), p. 18. Used by 

3 Leon B. Richardson, A Study of the Liberal College. A 
report to the president of Dartmouth College, Hanover, 
New Hampshire (1924), p. 17. Used by permission. 



the spirit. He insists that a college is an in- 
stitution in which human character is being 
trained and charges to the account of the in- 
tellectualists in our colleges the disintegrating 
influences that are now at work in these insti- 
tutions. He says : "One may teach the multi- 
plication table so that his students will be 
saints or sinners ; he may teach the law of cap- 
illarity as a mechanistic fact or as fundamental 
force not of the physical world merely but 
dominant in the living world as well ; he may 
teach the rights of property as an aspect of 
legal procedure or as a social instrument for 
administration of justice. No matter how he 
teaches these facts he is making for a better 
or a worse world, he is influencing conduct. 
Wherever ideas are being discovered or manip- 
ulated, ethical implications are always pres- 
ent." 4 

In line with President Coffman's view is 
that of President Bell 5 of Saint Stephen's Col- 
lege, who pleads for what he calls "humanistic 
education in its only valid sense — an endeavor 
to turn out men who are not merely informed 
but also fit in unified purpose to deal with 
human life." 

'School and Society, July 2, 1927. Used by permission. 
6 The Atlantic Monthly, July, 1927, p. 20. Used by per- 



Everett Dean Martin, director of the Peo- 
ple's Institute, defines education as continu- 
ous "conscious evolution." Elaborating his 
conception, he says: "Education is selective. 
It is the sifting out of the relative worth of 
men. It finds the significance of living to be 
the struggle for excellence. Its goal is a higher 
type of living man and woman. Its great task, 
therefore, in the modern world, is the reasser- 
tion of the inequalities which mass appeal ig- 
nores, the rediscovery for the modern spirit 
of the distinction between superiority and in- 
feriority. It is impossible to lift any mind 
from a lower to a higher plane when that 
which distinguishes one plane from another is 
obliterated by placing all on a level. Appre- 
ciation of distinctions of worth is an essential 
of a liberal education, as it is of the whole 
spiritual life of man." 6 And further he insists 
with emphasis on the continuous characteris- 
tic of education that "the surest way to de- 
feat learning is to place it in charge of those 
whose own education has stopped." 7 

Professor Kilpatrick of Teachers College, 
in his most recent book, says: "Probably the 
most useful way of conceiving education is 

e Everett Dean Martin: The Meaning of Liberal Educa- 
tion, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (1926), pp. 158-159. 
Used by permission. 

"Ibid., p. 316. 



to take it as the process by which we acquire 
our ways of behaving." 8 

Percy Marks, author of The Plastic Age and 
with a teaching experience in at least four of 
America's institutions of higher learning, 
says: "It is the purpose of education to help 
him (the student) to live as fully and com- 
pletely as his intellectual and emotional en- 
dowment will permit. Thinking — clear, fear- 
less thinking — about everything should be the 
final aim of any educational method." 9 

The Board of Education of the Northern 
Baptist Convention in its 1927 Report says: 
"Every believer in Christian education surely 
has reason for gratitude, for the growing in- 
terest of educators in the building of character 
in their students. It is not so long ago that 
great numbers of them spurned interest in the 
subject entirely, declaring that the task was 
not at all in their field. To-day we are wit- 
nessing an almost complete reversal of this 
point of view. Educators are now asserting 
most emphatically that this is a distinct part 
of their task. They are holding conferences to 
discuss methods for attaining the goal. They 

8 W. H Kilpatrick, Education for a Changing Civilization, 
The Macmillan Company (1927), pp. 58-59. Used by per- 

"Percy Marks, Which Way Parnassus? Harcourt, Brace 
and Company, Inc. (1926), p. 17. Used by permission. 



are devising all sorts of plans for making the 
building of character an essential part of their 
whole program. We are being swept on by a 
great wave of interest and enthusiasm." 10 

Nor are the students of our colleges to be 
denied in this day of emerging student initia- 
tive, their opinion in regard to the matter. 
It is wholesome that they are thinking along 
these lines. There have been several pro- 
nouncements in various colleges, among them 
Harvard, Barnard and Wesleyan, but the first 
instance in modern days of a student body 
giving formal expression to its convictions as 
to the purpose of college education was Dart- 
mouth. In 1924 a senior committee made a 
report to President Hopkins covering such 
matters as the faculty, methods of instruc- 
tion, degrees, admissions, and the curriculum. 
This committee 11 also expressed its convictions 
as to the purpose of a college in these words : 
"It is the purpose of the college to provide a 
selected group of men with a comprehensive 
background of information about the world 
and its problems, and to stimulate them to de- 
velop their capacity for rational thinking, 

10 Sixteenth Annual Report (1927), p. 7. Used by per- 

u The Report on Undergraduate Education of the Dart- 
mouth College Senior Committee (1924), Part. I, p. 10. 
Used by permission. 



philosophic understanding, creative imagina- 
tion, and aesthetic sensitiveness, and to in- 
spire them to use these developed powers in 
becoming leaders in service to society." 

Dr. Kobert L. Kelly, General Secretary of 
the Association of American Colleges, says: 
"The twentieth century college is attempting 
to help the student in three ways: (a) in dis- 
covering his own capacities and interests; (b) 
in revealing to him the implications of those 
capacities and interests; and (c) in contrib- 
uting to their realization." 12 

These quotations serve to show how unset- 
tled the educational world is as to its fun- 
damental objective. So that we may agree 
with an investigation conducted by the 
Y.M.C.A., in 1925, covering this very point, 
which says : "There seems to be little evidence 
of any definite or powerful unifying purpose 
running through the objectives." 13 

When we appeal to our student bodies, we 
find the majority of them saying that they are 
in college for specific training for a vocation 
already decided upon, for the general cultural 

12 Robert L. Kelly, The Effective College (1928), p. 53. 
Used by permission. 

U A Study of the Present Position of the Student Y. M. 
C. A. in Relation to Higher Education. Association Press 
(1928), p. 9. Used by permission. 



advantages that are supposed to accompany 
college education, and for the agreeable asso- 
ciations which will be formed with persons 
that will be valuable throughout life. Two 
other reasons in addition to these are un- 
doubtedly operative in the minds of the vast 
majority of students. The first of these is the 
desire to participate in intercollegiate athlet- 
ics. The second arises out of the fact that we 
have "sold" the idea of education so thor- 
oughly to the American people that they are 
convinced that it is "the thing to do" to go 
to college. 

Professors, too, have their opinions and are 
strategic in their views as to the objective of 
college education, but they are certainly not 
unanimous. A questionnaire recently directed 
to a selected group of leaders yielded the fol- 
lowing results as to the objective of higher 
education. Colleges exist, if the opinions of 
these professors are worthy of consideration — 
land they are — to produce leaders, to produce 
(citizens, to prepare for social efficiency, to 
perpetuate scholarship, to provide vocational 
guidance, to incite to creative thinking, to 
quicken intellectual curiosity, to guarantee 
a democracy of service, to provide an aristoc- 
racy of learning, and to produce individuals 
of character. There is no question but that 


the enlarging of the list of professors ap- 
proached would likewise enlarge the list of 
objectives proportionately. 

Looked at historically and genetically, edu- 
cation has had four outstanding objectives 14 
which we may briefly summarize as follows: 

I. Knowledge 

There can be small doubt that this was the 
original notion of education which necessarily 
was intensely practical. In the beginning, no 
doubt, education was simple training for the 
tasks and duties of life, the passing on from 
father to son of the skills and abilities which 
had been acquired through experience. This 
is equivalent to saying — what is entirely true 
— that men learned before they theorized 
about it and that instruction has always pre- 
ceded method. 

Looked at psychologically, the theory that 
education is knowledge rests upon the concep- 
tion of the mind as a blank and upon the edu- 
cated mind as one into which a certain quan- 
tity of information, so to speak, has been 
poured by the teaching process. This theory 
presupposes further that the knowledge to be 

14 See Betts' The Curriculum of Religious Education, The 
Abingdon Press (1924), and Bower's The Curriculum of 
Religious Education, Charles Scribner's Sons (1925). 



acquired should be of such character as to in- 
doctrinate the learner in the line of his life 
interests and as to adjust him to his social 

The objections to this theory are that it 
makes education identical with instruction, 
that it weights progress with tradition, and 
that its general direction is backward rather 
than forward. It ignores the great funda- 
mental principle that the mind of the learner 
must be active in the acquisition of knowl- 

II. Discipline 

Like the former theory, this is a most per- 
sistent point of view in the field of education. 
It is the opposite in many respects of the con- 
cept of education as knowledge, which in the 
final analysis regards education as a pouring- 
in process. Education as discipline takes 
sharp issue with this pouring-in process and 
regards education as a leading-out and devel- 
opment of the innate powers of the mind. It 
makes small difference, according to this view, 
what we study. How well we study is the 
determining factor in its worth. 

In the curriculum certain subjects, however, 
are esteemed, not because of their innate 
worth, but because of their disciplinary value, 
to be especially desirable for general education. 



Latin, Greek, and the higher mathematics were 
supposed to develop mental muscle in a pre- 
eminent degree, and, when this mental muscle, 
so to speak, had been developed, the power it 
had generated in the mental dynamo, as it 
were, by the addition of pulleys and bolts could 
be diverted in any direction. For conditions 
under which such transfer may take place, 
see page 74, below. 

The chief glory of this view of education is 
found in self-denial, submission, obedience, 
resignation, and the thwarting of our natural 
desires. If the individual should be particu- 
larly interested in some particular field of 
knowledge, he should as a matter of principle 
turn his back upon it and devote himself as- 
siduously to the pursuit of a subject distaste- 
ful to him. "Study what you do not like," in 
substance said this theory, "and you will be 
an educated man." 

III. Recapitulation 
Technically speaking, those who adhere to 
this view say that "ontogeny repeats phylog- 
eny." This is a very learned and recondite 
way of saying that the individual tends in his 
life to repeat the racial experiences, and that 
he must, because of this law of his nature, 
go through the various stages of progress of 


the race from savagery through barbarism to 
civilization and enlightenment. 

This theory rests on the assumption that we 
are born with certain tendencies and that the 
chief duty of the educator is to watch these 
tendencies and to aid them properly to ripen. 
This theory of recapitulation has done the 
world a service by insisting on the worth of 
the individual and on his right to grow and on 
the necessity of grading the materials to suit 
his developing capacities. It has made two 
supreme blunders. First: It is founded on 
an unwarranted psychology, in which is in- 
volved the idea of an unchanging human na- 
ture, and so of making it necessary for each 
individual to recapitulate in his own life the 
racial experiences. There is no warrant in 
psychology for this assumption. The second 
blunder is nearly as reprehensible. It assumes 
that we must allow these inborn tendencies 
to express themselves, or we will do violence 
to the individual and produce what is known 
in psychology as a complex. 

IV. Controlled and Enriched Experience 

John Dewey, for instance, defines education 
as "a conscious, purposive, and continuous re- 
construction of experience." Those who be- 
lieve in this concept of education assert that 



learning can take place only on a basis of 
experience, and some of them would limit it to 
personal experience. They say an experience 
is of value for its own sake and that all the 
knowledge we have arises out of experience 
when it is charged with meaning. They mean 
by enrichment the discovery of the meaning 
and worth-whileness of an experience to the 
learner through the teaching process. This 
view of education leads on the personal side 
to self-realization and, on the social side, to 
democracy. It takes a present situation and 
views it in terms of the learner's past experi- 
ence and of the cumulative experience of the 
race. The learner himself is then urged to 
use this enriched experience as a purposive 
control for conduct. 

There is much to be said in commendation 
of this view of education. The chief weak- 
ness of it is that it is too pragmatic and too 
behavioristic. It appears to limit knowledge 
and experience to the present world and to 
account for our conduct in terms of stimuli 
applied to our nervous system. It is too me- 
chanical and materialistic and not volitional 
and purposive enough. We need to take into 
consideration not only the experiences that 
we can account for on the basis of the natural 
world, but particularly in the field of Chris- 


tian education experiences of the mystical 
variety. We deal with the soul in our work 
and we can never get away from this funda- 
mental concept. 

V. Transformation 

There is a fifth objective, however, for which 
we should be very especially concerned, the 
objective of Christian education. I do not 
wish to suggest that there should be contrasts 
or antipathies between education and Chris- 
tian education. I would rather conceive of 
Christian education as a qualitative charac- 
teristic that should run through every possible 
objective that educators might entertain for 
the educational process or product. In this 
way we may safely say that Christian educa- 
tion aims to impart certain useful knowledge. 
It also aims to produce such discipline as will 
yield Christian conduct. It is interested in 
the repetition of the racial characteristics and 
experiences so that they shall be reproduced 
in the life and conduct of those who are taught, 
and it is particularly concerned that present- 
day experiences shall be enriched through the 
teaching process and used as self -expressive 
controls in purposive conduct. It summates, 
therefore, in its program all that is good in 
the four objectives of education which we have 



discussed, but it must go beyond this and must 
incorporate in its purpose and achieve in 
its accomplishment a transformation of the 
character of the pupils, a sublimation of all 
their urges, drives, and impulses. It must 
result in Christian attitudes toward life and 
its problems. It is, strictly speaking, a mo- 
tivation of life and an activation of conduct. 

Christian Education Illustrated 

We would illustrate from the first Christian 
institution of learning of which we have any 
definite record. I refer to the University of 
Jesus, an institution small in number with 
only twelve who remained until Commence- 
ment Day. There were quite a number who 
offered themselves to matriculate in this in- 
stitution only to turn away sorrowful when 
they saw what the curriculum included and 
required. As many as seventy, we are told, 
remained to enter the sophomore class, but 
only twelve received their diplomas, so to 
speak. The adherents of other aims for edu- 
cation said that these men in this first Chris- 
tian institution were ignorant and unlearned. 
To borrow their own vigorous expression as 
recorded for us in the Scriptures, they in- 
sisted that these original students in the Uni- 
versity of Jesus were "idiots." They did not 


understand the transforming character of the 
instruction these men were receiving. We 
know that it is entirely a misuse of terms to 
say that the disciples of Christ were ignorant 
men. They had the finest Teacher that the 
world has ever known, and they were with 
him for forty-two months — which is more than 
a college course — and when we* consider that, 
next to the mental activity of the pupil him- 
self, the personality of the teacher is the out- 
standing thing of ultimate worth in the edu- 
cational process we begin to see that these men 
who had founded the Christian Church in obe- 
dience to the command of their Teacher were 
eminently prepared for their life-work. While 
we do not find the institution in which they 
studied in the list of accredited standard syn- 
agogue or rabbinical schools of their day, and 
while they held no academic degrees, we are 
justified in refusing to accept the judgment 
of their critics unless their work-years war- 
ranted and justified the criticisms hurled at 
them from these educational high-brows. Did 
the work-years of these men warrant and jus- 
tify the criticisms heaped upon them? 

Peter was an alumnus of whom any uni- 
versity might boast. He was a man of action, 
impetuous, making mistakes, but this cursing 
fisherman demeaned himself well on the day 



of Pentecost and throughout his eventful ca- 
reer in the infant church. His training gave 
him Christian stability. He became a rock, 
and his impetuousness made him the initiator 
of the growing kingdom. To transform a 
weakness into an excellency shows the value 
of education, but only Christian education 
could do that. 

It is sometimes said that education devel- 
ops what isin a man. If that were all it could 
do, Peter would have been the arch curser of 
\ the ages and a veritable dynamite mine as 
• to temper. So-called secular education would 
have done that for him. But Christian edu- 
cation transforms the man till he becomes a 
mighty force for righteousness in the very 
line of his former weakness. That is why 
there is more hope of a spendthrift for gener- 
osity after a man becomes a Christian than 
there is for a miser. Peter was more hopeful 
from the beginning than Judas, though Judas 
was promising enough to become the bursar 
of the first Christian university. 

John was the real scholar of the school. The 
philosophy of his Gospel and Epistles sur- 
passes anything in the history of human 
thought. Not all students in a college be- 
come scholars. John was a scholar. He, like 
Peter, had a weakness. He loved. He loved 


himself and Ms brother and his own family. 
Now, love and selfishness are very close akin. 
It is the object loved that marks the difference. 
John was a self -lover. His course in the Uni- 
versity of Jesus did not eliminate his passion- 
ate love. It transformed, redirected that pas- 
sion so as to make his brother man the center 
of his affection ; and we find this splendid fel- 
low 15 in his Gospel telling of the love of God 
(John 3. 16) and in his Epistle (I John 3. 16, 
17) declaring that we cannot love God unless 
we love our brother men — and yet he wanted 
the chief places in Christ's kingdom for his 
brother and himself, his mother approving, 
when he first entered the university. Here 
is a man of scholarly tastes, essentially self- 
ish ; but after graduation he forgets self in his 
love for others and devotes his scholarship to 
an age-long service to the spiritual life of man- 

Matthew was another honor graduate of 
the University of Jesus. He was a self -server. 
He sought the office of collecting taxes, that 
he might get riches for himself and influence 
with the alien government that oppressed his 
people. After his graduation he writes the 
finest account of the finest life ever lived, and 

"The author inclines to the view that the apostle John 
wrote the Gospel and the letters usually attributed to him. 



in the twenty-fifth chapter gives us the finest 
encomium of service as central in the Chris- 
tian life which ever has been penned. The 
Gospel according to Matthew is the Magna 
Charta of the social program of the church 
of our day. In it he is still a server, but his 
weakness has become his strength. His im- 
pulse to serve is socialized, and he delights 
to paint his Master as servant of all. Only 
Christian education could have so transformed 
this publican. 

But even Christian schools fail in some 
cases. Not all who graduate from Christian 
colleges have the spirit of Christ. Jesus had 
twelve to graduate, while seventy went through 
the sophomore class, and a great company 
matriculated only to drop the course. These 
things are recorded here to comfort the aching 
hearts of the teachers and administrators of 
Christian colleges because some promising 
alumnus has made shipwreck of his life. One 
of the twelve failed. He failed in the line of 
his weakness. The love of money was his un- 
doing. It will ruin any person. The univer- 
sity had given him a thorough course not only 
in the dangers of this weakness in his life 
but in the proper use of the thing he loved. 
He simply would not yield and be transformed. 
Judas might just as well have attended a rab- 


binical school as the University of Jesus, so 
far as character is concerned. 

We have not the time to consider the other 
eight men. They were marvelously helped by 
their education. The leadership of the world 
is now being helped by it. The danger is that 
the education men get may be of the Judas 
type — such as to develop their inborn quali- 
ties, strengths and weaknesses alike, and not 
have the transforming power which we find 
in Peter, John, Matthew, and the other men 
who become everything else than "ignorant 
and unlearned" and for whom the phrase "lit- 
tle ones" had no significance, as their powers 
ripened under the matchless Teacher of Naza- 

One other matter we should perhaps note in 
passing. There is a strong feeling to-day that 
certain persons ought not to go to college, that 
only certain types, and particularly those of 
alert mind, should be accepted by colleges. A 
glance at the types of men whom Jesus se- 
lected for his school will be illuminating on 
this point. Given in pairs and in Matthew's 
order, they are Peter, quick, impulsive, impetu- 
ous; Andrew, slow, practical, observant: 
James the elder, advanced in years, sophisti- 
cated, calculating; John, youthful, buoyant, 
passionate lover : Philip, mentally stupid, per- 



haps of Gentile origin; Nathanael, mentally 
brilliant, an Israelite without guile: Thomas, 
doubter, of scientific mind, demanding proof, 
rationalistic, a Modernist ; Matthew, a man of 
fearless faith, changing his allegiances readily, 
credulous: James the less, a just man, com- 
mitted to a program of practical righteous- 
ness; Jude, theologian, a doctrinaire, a Fun- 
damentalist: Simon, a zealot, forgetting him- 
self in his cause, a radical, a red, a bolshevist ; 
Judas, phlegmatic, materialistic, selfish, look- 
ing at every cause from the standpoint of its 
bearing upon his personal interests. Certain 
conclusions force themselves upon us as we 
read this immortal roster of the students in 
the original Christian college: 1, no type 
should properly be excluded; 2, each type is 
helped 16 by association with the others; 3, 
in co-operative effort we can serve best by as- 
sociating with our opposite as the pairing of 
these men by Jesus suggests; and 4, there 
can be no doubt that the various types in- 
cluded in the Twelve look toward the practical 
necessity for the united efforts on the part of 
all Christians in Christian union, and as a 
direct consequence of the transforming influ- 
ence of Christian education. 

"Even Judas was helped, helped to the point where he did 
not care to live when he had seen himself as he really was. 



Concluding Definition of Education's 

Inasmuch as we have constantly nsed and 
must continue to use the terms "education," 
"religious education," and "Christian educa- 
tion," it is perhaps well in concluding this 
chapter to define their objectives separately 
and so also as to indicate their integral co- 
herence and relationship. It is fully granted 
that the content and methods involved in these 
three terms act, react, and interact on each 
other and that all knowledge may be both re- 
ligious and Christian. Yet for purposes of in- 
tensive study, no harm should arise from look- 
ing at them separately and in contrast. We 
would with this in view, therefore, define these 
terms as follows: 

In terms of purpose, from the pupiPs stand- 
point : 

Education is the process by which we learn 
how to live with and for each other. 

Religious education is the process by which 
we learn how to live with and for each other 
and unto God. 

Christian education is the process by which 
we learn how to live with and for each other 
and unto God as revealed in Jesus Christ and 
as interpreted by the Holy Spirit. 



In terms of subject matter, from the teach- 
er's standpoint: 

Education is the theory and practice of 
teaching any or every body or kind of knowl- 

Religious education is the theory and prac- 
tice of teaching religion. 

Christian education is the theory and prac- 
tice of teaching the Christian religion. 

What Is Christian Character? 

The objective of education we have found to 
be character, Christian character. We also 
speak of religious character. What do these 
terms connote and when is Christian charac- 
ter achieved? 

Character is the by-product of the person- 
ality's habitual positive reaction emotionally, 
intellectually, and volitionally to the highest 
values inherent in particular situations. 

Religious character is the by-product of the 
personality's habitual positive reaction emo- 
tionally, intellectually, and volitionally to the 
highest values inherent in particular situa- 
tions and as embodied in any religious sys- 

Christian character is the by-product *of the 
personality's habitual positive reaction emo- 
tionally, intellectually, and volitionally to the 



highest values inherent in particular situa- 
tions in terms of the revelation of God in Jesus 
Christ and as interpreted by the Holy Spirit. 

Christian character, the goal of education, 
is achieved when these highest values inherent 
in particular situations, have been harmon- 
ized, conserved, and illuminated in terms of 
the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and as 
interpreted by the Holy Spirit. 

In these definitions throughout we have had 
in mind "good" character rather than "bad," 
because we cannot conceive of any type of 
devotion as committed to other than "good" 
objectives. The "highest values inherent in 
particular situations" are implicitly there, but 
to become explicit they must be raised to con- 
sciousness through the teaching process. The 
teacher must mediate these values. 




"A glance at our country and its present 
moral condition fills the mind with alarming 
apprehension. The moral desolation and flood- 
tides of wickedness threaten to sweep away 
not only the blessings of religion, but the 
boasted freedom of our republican institutions 
as well. Every candid person must admit that 
if ignorance, licentiousness, and a disregard 
of all moral laws prevail in our communities, 
then demagogues and spendthrifts will sit in 
the halls of legislation ; ambition, self-aggran- 
dizement, and a love of power will supplant 
patriotism, public spirit, and attention to the 
best interests of the nation. Due to no moral 
restraint, the freedom which we enjoy hastens 
this process. To-day no virtuous public senti- 
ment frowns down upon the criminal to shame 
him into secrecy. Let another half century pass 
in our present indifference and inactivity and 
existing evils will have attained a strength 
never to be overpowered." 1 

1 0. P. Keller, A Drift Toward Character Education in 
Religious Education, September, 1927, p. 747. Quoted 
originally by A. B. Hulbert in The Atlantic Monthly, 
December, 1926. Used by permission. 



The above sentiments were expressed in the 
year 1827, just one hundred years ago, but 
they sound so modern that we are shocked to 
hear that a century ago the alarmists were 
busy as they are to-day sounding the note of 
prophetic destruction for our civilization. They 
sadly lack historical sense and perspective. 

There has just been issued from the press 
of Houghton Mifflin Company a book which 
purports to be an account of New England 
college life in the fruitful and picturesque 
decade of the 80's. The authors of this book 
state : "It is our belief that the better class of 
undergraduates to-day are quite as strong in- 
tellectually as their fathers were. . . . There 
are rowdies in college to-day as there were in 
the eighties, but there is not nearly so large 
a proportion of them. . . . There are in col- 
lege to-day men better equipped for the strug- 
gle than the men of the eighties were equipped, 
and quite as likely to succeed. . . . Our judg- 
ment, on the whole, is that the better class 
of the modern undergraduates are quite as 
favorable prospects as their fathers were at 
the same age; and much more agreeable fel- 
lows to get along with." 2 It is needless to say 

2 Cornelius Howard Patton and Walter Taylor Field, 
Eight O'Clock Chapel. Houghton Mifflin Company (1927), 
pp. 314, 317 and 331. Used by permission. 



that the author agrees heartily with these ex- 

In this connection we should felicitate our- 
selves on meeting in this historic university, 3 
founded by the author of the Declaration of 
Independence, who counted it one of the three 
major achievements of his life to have been 
the father of the University of Virginia, rank- 
ing this achievement with the authorship of 
the Declaration of Independence and of the 
Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom. 
In 1822 J eff erson in his report as rector of the 
University of Virginia says : "It was not, how- 
ever, to be understood that instruction in re- 
ligious opinions and duties was meant to be 
precluded by the public authorities as indif- 
ferent to the interests of society; on the con- 
trary, the relations which exist between man 
and his Maker, and the duties resulting from 
those relations, are the most interesting and 
important to every human being, and the most 
incumbent on his study and investigation. 
The want of instruction in the various creeds 
of religious faith existing among our citizens 
presents, therefore, a chasm in a general insti- 
tution of the general sciences; but it was 
thought that this want, and the intrustment to 

3 This chapter was originally given as one of a series at 
the University of Virginia, as stated in the "Foreword." 



each society of instruction in its own doc- 
trines, were evils of less danger than a per- 
mission to the public authorities to dictate 
modes or principles of religious instruction, 
or than opportunities furnished them of giv- 
ing countenance or ascendancy to any one 
sect over another. A remedy, however, has 
been suggested, of promising aspect, which, 
while it excludes the public authorities from 
the domain of religious freedom, would give 
to the sectarian schools of divinity the full 
benefit of the public provisions made for in- 
struction in the other branches of science. 
These branches are equally necessary to the 
divine as to the other professional or civil 
characters, to enable them to fulfill the duties 
of their calling with understanding and use- 
fulness. It has, therefore, been in contempla- 
tion, and suggested by some pious individuals, 
who perceive the advantages of associating 
other studies with those of religion, to estab- 
lish their religious schools on the confines of 
the university, so as to give to their students 
ready and convenient access and attendance 
on the scientific lectures of the university ; and 
to maintain, by that means, those destined for 
the religious professions on as high a standing 
of science, and of personal weight and respec- 
tability, as may be obtained by others from the 



benefits of the university. Such establish- 
ments would offer the further and great ad- 
vantage of enabling the students of the uni- 
versity to attend religious exercises with the 
professor of their particular sect, either in the 
rooms of the building still to be erected, and 
desuned to that purpose under impartial reg- 
ulations, as proposed in the same report of 
the Commissioners, or in the lecturing room 
of such professor. To such propositions the 
Visitors are prepared to lend a willing ear, 
and would think it their duty to give every 
encouragement, by assuring to those who 
might choose such a location for their schools 
that the regulations of the university should 
be so modified and accommodated as to give 
every facility of access and attendance to their 
students, with such regulated use also as may 
be permitted to the other students of the libra- 
ry which may hereafter be acquired, either 
by public or private munificence, but always 
understanding that these schools shall be in- 
dependent of the university and of each other. 
Such an arrangement would complete the cir- 
cle of useful sciences embraced by this institu- 
tion, and would fill the chasm now existing on 
principles which would leave inviolate the 
constitutional freedom of religion, the most 
unalienable and sacred of all human rights, 



over which the people and authorities of this 
State, individually and publicly, have ever 
manifested the most watchful jealousy." 4 

We have come to the point now in our pub- 
lic education where we sense the necessity of 
the method which Jefferson foresaw of pro- 
viding religious instruction 5 for our State uni- 
versities. It is a pity that our religious lead- 
ers did not grasp the opportunity this sugges- 
tion offered a hundred and more years ago. He 
was certainly a far-seeing seer in the realm of 
higher education. It is a pity that narrow 
sectarians said he was opposed to religion. 

But our question at this time is, When is a 
college Christian? There have been various 
answers to this inquiry. Our great national 
leaders from George Washington 6 to Theodore 
Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Calvin Cool- 
jdge have agreed that religion, morality, and 
education are necessary for good government, 
but just what are the characteristics of an in- 
stitution of higher learning that should pro- 
vide religion and morality as inseparable qual- 
ities of education is a matter that we have not 

Randolph's Early History of the University of Virginia 
(1856), pp. 474-475. 

6 For a discussion and poll of opinion with reference to 
the offering of courses in Religious Education, as we have 
denned it in Chapter II, in state institutions and at public 
expense, see Christian Education, Vol. XI, No. 4, p. 251f. 

6 Note quotations in the front of this book. 



fully agreed upon and perhaps we are some 
distance yet from agreement. 

We find among the answers that have been 
given the following: 

An institution is Christian when it is 
founued by a Christian constituency and gov- 
erned by them. 

An institution is Christian when it embodies 
as its fundamental concept loyalty to Jesus 
Christ, the Son of the living God. 

An institution is Christian when courses in 
Bible and Eeligious Education are offered as 
constituent elements of the curriculum. It is 
becoming quite general now for colleges to in- 
clude such courses in the confidence that their 
offering guarantees the Christian character of 
an institution. Certainly, a college does well 
to offer such courses, and they do have a truly 
leavening influence on its life ideals. We shall 
take occasion in Chapter VI to describe in 
detail the growth and quality of such courses 
in our college curricula. 

An institution is Christian when it exhibits 
an atmosphere of Christian discipleship. 

An institution is Christian when it succeeds 
in winning the great majority of its students 
to a personal profession of faith in Jesus and 
brings them to membership in some church. 

A college is Christian when its students and 


professors and officers of administration can 
assent to certain fundamental articles of faith, 
conceived as a creedal statement of the Chris- 
tian life. 

A college is Christian when the vocations 
entered by its graduates have as the basis of 
their appeal service rather than profit. 

A college is Christian when its alumni, for 
the most part, are identified actively with the 
program of organized Christianity. 

A college is Christian when only professing 
Christians are members of its teaching staff. 
We cannot insist too strongly on this point in 
the thinking of a large group. There is no 
way in the world, they urge, to make an insti- 
tution Christian if its professors fail to exhibit 
Christian character in their lives and to exer- 
cise a Christian influence over their pupils. 
The professor's breadth of outlook makes him 
invaluable as a molder of student opinion and 
character. His general philosophy of life can- 
not fail to have a tremendous influence over 
the life of his pupils, and no institution, they 
insist, can be properly styled as Christian 
when other than Christian men and women 
are placed in the strategic position of instruc- 

Our Viewpoint 
I wish, however, to approach this matter 


from the standpoint of aims and attitudes, in 
accordance with which the goal of moral en- 
deavor is conceived to be a religious person 
qualified to analyze and criticize the current 
standards of morality and possessed with a 
Christian view of the world. To me it is not 
amply satisfying that the students of an insti- 
tution should embrace intellectually the chief 
tenets of the Christian faith, nor that its 
alumni should be engaged in occupations sug- 
gestive of service rather than profit, nor yet 
that its alumni should be identified with some 
form of organized Christianity. I think that 
a college to be entitled to be regarded as Chris- 
tian should produce alumni who exhibit Chris- 
tian attitudes in their conduct and who con- 
sistently apply such attitudes in the problems 
and decisions of life which they are called 
upon to meet. It is entirely possible for a man 
to profess all the articles of all the creeds and 
to have his name on the records of a church 
and to engage in an occupation with service, 
rather than profit, as its ultimate aim, and 
yet to exhibit in his major life attitudes pagan 
rather than Christian conduct. 

I think it is entirely right to judge an insti- 
tution by its product and the product of an 
institution is its alumni, the men and women 
who have been molded by its influence and who 



have received the stamp of its approval. The 
greatest Teacher the world has produced said, 
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know 
them." And whether we are willing for our 
institutions to be judged by their fruits, they 
cannot escape the consequence of such judg- 
ment. The public is prone to rate a college by 
its alumni, and they will decide that it is 
Christian or pagan according as its alumni 
exhibit in their lives the attitudes of the Chris- 
tian or of the pagan way of life. 

But what do we mean by Christian atti- 
tudes, and how do they contrast with pagan 
approaches to the problems and issues of life? 

1. The pagan view of material substance is 
briefly summated in the simple verb "get." 
The man whose attitude toward material sub- 
stance is pagan, is bent on acquiring all the 
comforts, conveniences, and luxuries of life 
possible for him to acquire. He may be strict- 
ly honest in his methods of acquisition, but 
his thought is "get." "Get all that you can 
and store it up, hoard it away for the future." 
If a man takes this attitude toward material 
\ substance, no matter how long his creed may 
I be, nor how earnest his profession as a Chris- 
tian, mark him down as a pagan. He is that 
and nothing less. 

The Christian, however, has a different view 


of material substance. He gets wealth that he 
may share it with others. He gets that he may 
give, and his greatest joy is found in the assist- 
ance he may bring to other lives through the 
wealth he has beer able to produce. A man 
may not have his name on a church book and 
he may not be very vocal in professing his 
Christian faith, but, if he has the spirit of 
giving in his conduct, you will have no hesi- 
tation in classifying him as one possessed of 
a Christian attitude in life. 

There can be no question about how Jesus 
thought in regard to this matter. He makes 
it perfectly clear in the story of the success- 
ful farmer who, having produced a bountiful 
crop, decided to gather it all into his barns 
and to sit down and enjoy himself, saying to 
his soul, "Thou hast much goods laid up for 
many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and 
be merry." Jesus represents God as looking 
down from heaven on this man, a man no 
doubt acclaimed by his fellow citizens as tre- 
mendously successful, and as pronouncing 
judgment upon him. God, according to this 
story of Jesus, did not regard this man as suc- 
cessful at all, but said to him, "Thou fool." 
It is sad to think of it, but all the fools are 
not dead yet, and, sad to say, it is frequently 
an open question, as Phillips Brooks observed, 



■ when a man of the church prospers in a large 
degree, whether the Kingdom will gain a for- 
tune in his case or lose a soul. 

If the alumni of a Christian college are un- 
selfish in their attitude toward wealth and 
material substance; if they are characterized 
by a generous spirit and delight in giving for 
the upbuilding of the Kingdom and for their 
fellow men, we have at least one good reason 
for classifying such an institution as truly 

2. The pagan view of life is at heart pes- 
simistic. It cannot be otherwise, because such 
a man sees only this present existence and has 
no convinced assurance of any other world. 
Consequently, no matter how successful a man 
may be in his three score years and ten or 
mayhap in his four score years, in the end he 
must come down to his grave. The pagan man 
is engaged in a losing fight and consequently 
is pessimistic. He cannot be otherwise. The 
philosophy of paganism is one of despair. 

The Christian man, however, takes a hope- 
ful, buoyant, improving, optimistic view of 
life. He regards the world as friendly at heart 
and God as loving in his relationships to his 
offspring ; and man too he regards as essential- 
ly good in his disposition and outlook. Conse- 
quently, the Christian man engages in enter- 



prises that look to social welfare and human 
uplift. His passion is for the coming of the 
kingdom of heaven. He is convinced that this 
kingdom eventually will appear upon the 
earth, as even now it exists in heaven. 

If the alumni of a college are hopeful, opti- 
mistic, energetic in their efforts to improve 
personal and social life and to drive out the 
evils and afflictions and injustices of the so- 
cial order; if they are constructive and ag- 
gressive in their efforts to ameliorate life and 
beautify it, we have another strong reason for 
classifying that institution as genuinely Chris- 

3. There are two views of what constitutes 
greatness. The pagan view is that the great 
man is the one capable of exerting personal 
influence and' authority over the greatest num- 
ber of his fellows; power and authority over 
others, whether it be the power and authority 
of personal influence or the power and author- 
ity of position or of wealth. These are the 
chief goods and the sure marks and character- 
istics of a great man. A great nation in the 
pagan view is the nation that can control the 
most vassal states, and that can force its judg- 
ments and decisions upon the greatest number 
of human beings and over the largest area of 
the earth's surface. 



The Christian view is different, is diametri- 
cally different. It is found in that simple word 
which we hear so often to-day, but which we 
can never hear too often, that simple word 
"service." The Founder of Christianity de- 
clared that he stood among his disciples as 
One who served. He also said that he came 
into the world not to be ministered unto, but 
to minister; and, as if that were not enough, 
just before his arrest and crucifixion he called 
his little group together and said, "He that is 
greatest among you shall be your servant." 
The greatest man, therefore, in the Christian 
view of life is the man who renders the larg- 
est service to his fellows, and likewise the 
greatest nation is the nation that does the 
most good in the world to the most people. 
The general welfare should become a passion. 

If, therefore, the alumni of an institution 
are active and devoted to the cause of human 
uplift through service; if they are anxious to 
find ways to relieve the sufferings and anxie- 
ties of their fellows, feeling that they are per- 
sonally responsible for the social conditions 
that have produced those sufferings and 
anxieties and therefore are under obligation 
to remedy them not as a condescension, 
but as a duty; if social welfare and well- 
being are the engrossing concerns of their 



daily life and conduct ; if in their attitudes on 
public questions and private concerns, they 
are always found on the side of service and 
helpfulness to others, we have another good 
reason for characterizing such an institution 
as genuinely Christian. 

4. There are numerous contrasts that we 
might consider in the attitudes of pagans and 
Christians. We will content ourselves with 
one other only — as to the method of achieving 
progress in the world. 

I The pagan says that progress comes through 
J competitive effort ; that success is a matter of 
the survival of the fittest, and, in the judg- 
ment of the pagan world, "fittest" always 
means "strongest." The pagan does not apol- 
ogize for his brutishness in announcing this 
doctrine of human progress. He frankly as- 
serts it and blandly states that it is the law 
of life which he did not make, but which he 
has been wise enough to understand and sen- 
sible enough to co-operate with. He, there- 
fore, does not blush with shame to climb over 
the broken and bleeding bodies of his competi- 
tors in life in order that he may ascend to the 
I mountain peaks of his ambition. 

The Christian takes an entirely different 
view of the method of human progress. He 
does not believe that men can do more by 



competing with each other than by co-oper- 
ating with each other, and his method of 
achieving success in life is through co-opera- 
tion, brotherhood, and good fellowship. When 
he beholds a weak brother, weak in body or 
in mind or in morals, or in any other direc- 
tion, he feels an obligation upon his strength 
to share his own superior endowment with 
his weaker brother, and he will never be sat- 
isfied in his efforts of helpfulness until his 
weaker brother has been infused with a new- 
ness of life and strength, and until they twain 
shall stand together, equals in ability and both 
thrilled with a genuine fraternity of life and 

If, therefore, the alumni of an institution 
exhibit in their daily life and- conduct the 
spirit of fraternity, fellowship, brotherhood, 
human helpfulness, and consecrated life in 
the service of their weaker brother men 
as a duty and not as a gratuity; if 
they employ the method of co-operation in 
season and out of season; if their general at- 
I titude is devoid of selfish competition and ani- 
mated by unalloyed devotion to the cause of 
\ human uplift and happiness in the name and 
I for the sake of Christ, we have a fourth good 
\ reason for properly classifying such an insti- 
Itution as Christian. 



In Conclusion 
Let it be said that our colleges must be 
judged if they claim truly to be Christian by 
these high standards, and no matter how many 
courses in Bible and Religious Education they 
may offer, no matter how many fine professing 
Christian men and women they may have on 
their teaching staffs and as administrative of- 
ficers, no matter how securely guaranteed by 
charter 'rights the ownership of the institution 
may be to some religious body or corporation, 
unless such an institution is able to produce 
alumni as the fruits of its efforts who aspire 
to give rather than to get, who take an opti- 
mistic rather than a pessimistic view of life, 
who rejoice to serve rather than to rule their 
fellows, and who are committed to a program 
of progress for the human race through co-op- 
eration rather than through competition, we 
may be sure we cannot properly classify it as 
genuinely Christian. I have faith to believe 
that our colleges, some with legal handicap and 
some with complete freedom, are able to meet 
the acid test of these four contrasting atti- 
tudes of the Christian way of life and to be 
found not wanting in terms of the highest 
Christian idealism. These institutions are not 
perfect, their trustees, administrators, and 
professors are not perfect, their students are 



not perfect; but, taken in the large, they are 
producing great Christian givers, great Chris- 
tian optimists, great Christian servants, and 
great Christian co-operators — men and women 
who are the salt of the earth, who are the light 
of the world, and who will eventually bring to 
this earth the kingdom of our Christ. 




When we undertake to discuss the curricu- 
lum, we find the same uncertainty as we dis- 
covered in reference to the objective of higher 
education. We are reminded of Stephen Lea- 
cock's character who "mounted his horse and 
rode off rapidly in all directions/' and the wag 
who described the curriculum as a "queericu- 
lum" was not absolutely inapt in descriptive 
ability. He no doubt had had some experience 
with college education and was speaking in all 
likelihood from experience. However, our 
colleges are experimenting and brighter days 
no doubt are ahead of us, if not immediately 
in the foreground. 

Noteworthy experiments are being con-, 
ducted in Whittier College, Whittier, Calif or- \ 
nia, where Dean Coffin announces as the foun- 1 
dational article in his creed that the curricu- 
lum must be fitted to the student; in Reed 
College, Portland, Oregon, where the work of 
the first two years is very definitely set off 
from that of the last two years and where a : 
comprehensive approach is being made to the 



whole question of the curriculum; by Doctor 
Meiklejohn in his experimental college at the 
University of Wisconsin, in which during the 
academic year 1927-28 Greek civilization was 
made the vehicle of a college course for Fresh- 
men, with the thought of using Western civili- 
zation as the basis of the course for these stu- 
dents during their Sophomore year in 1928-29 ; 
by Eollins College in Florida, where classroom 
work of the orthodox type is very largely dis- 
pensed with; at Swarthmore, Princeton, Har- 
vard, and several others where Honors Courses 
are being experimented with; and in many 
other places. Glenn Frank, of the University 
of Wisconsin, has recently stated that the 
great need of education is for radical experi- 
mentation, and that in this respect we lag far 
behind big business, which knows that it is a 
good expenditure of funds to pay for disturb- 
ing news and so maintains research labora- 
tories for that very purpose. It would, how- 
ever, appear that we are willing to experiment 
and to become as ruthlessly scientific as the 
laboratory expert is, in our efforts to improve 
our educational system, and its curriculum. 

What Is the Curriculum? 
There are at least four views as to the cur- 
riculum : 



1. The curriculum is viewed as the sum to- 
tal of the offerings of the various schools or 
departments of instruction in an institution 
of higher learning. 

2. The curriculum is regarded as the pro- 
gram of studies of the individual student 
which leads to his securing a degree. 

3. The curriculum is regarded as the sum 
total of the educational influences that enter 
into the direction and formation of character, 
of Christian character. According to this 
view, to quote George Herbert Betts 1 : "The 
curriculum must be as broad and rich in its 
scope as the needs of the individual. . . . The 
curriculum consists of all the organized stim- 
uli and avenues of expression required by the 
individual in his learning and offered through 
the school." 

4. The curriculum in the minds of some is 
made continuous with life, the theory being 
that every experience of the individual enters 
necessarily into his education. Everett Dean 
Martin says : "It seems to be thoroughly mod- 
ern to believe that the best way to get an edu- 
cation is to stop studying and just live, what- 
ever that is. I am of the opinion, however, 

1 George Herbert Betts, The Curriculum of Religious 
Education, The Abingdon Press (1924), p. 240. Used by 



that anyone who can learn from life can also 
learn from books without spoiling his mind." 2 
College professors have a peculiar fondness 
for this viewpoint of Martin. 

Our view of the curriculum in this discus- 
sion is that it consists of the sum total of the 
organized educational influences that! enter 
into the direction and formation of Christian 
character. And it would, therefore, include 
materials 3 from the following sources of col- 
lege life: the courses of study actually pur- 
sued ; the professors ; the environment ; and the 
activities of the campus. 

This view of the curriculum has so many 
involvements that we should perhaps here 
outline briefly its main implications. They 
are as follows: 

1. The curriculum should be directly re- 
lated to the experience of the learner. I find 
myself in agreement, therefore, with a state- 
ment just issued by the International Council 
of Religious Education, 4 which says: "Ac- 
cording to this view, a curriculum is not so 
much a book to be read as the pupiPs activity 

2 Everett Dean Martin, The Meaning of Liberal Education, 
W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (1926), p. 70. Used by 

3 See Harper, An Integrated Program of Religious Educa- 
tion. The Macmillan Company (1926), pp. 63f. 

4 "The Development of *a Curriculum of Religious Educa- 
tion," Research Service Bulletin No. 5, p. 12. 



and experience of reading the book; not so 
much an outline of the service project to be 
carried out, as the actual experience of per- 
forming /the service activity; not so much a 
plan for teaching pupils the appreciation of 
a picture, as the actual experience of appre- 
ciation resulting from the pupils' reaction to 
the picture under the guidance of a leader." 

2. The curriculum, method, and institu- 
tional organization are different aspects of 
the same process. Dr. W. C. Bower 5 ably pre- 
sents this view. 

3. There must be responsible participation 
on the part of the learner in the entire 

4. The center of the educational process is 
not the materials of education, nor the learner, 
but where the learner's experience and the 
race's experience intersect and are fused into 
a reconstructed purposive control for life. 

5. The curriculum should at every point 
use the problem situation method of .approach. 
The technique employed and the institutional 
organization should bring it about that the 
learner should actually think through real 
problems in relation to the practical conduct 
of his life. 

6. We must recognize that transfer does 

"Religious Education, vol. xxiii, pp. 546f. 



take place, but only between areas of experi- 
ence where there is overlapping of content or 
of procedure or of both, and then only on 
condition that the thing to be transferred 
should be thought about and desired. 6 

7. Character, therefore, will arise out of 
particular situations and will be achieved 
only in such situations, except where transfer 
occurs as stated above. 

I. The Courses of Study Pursued 
We cannot insist too often that every sub- 
ject in the curriculum can be taught in such 
a way as to make it contributory to the devel- 
opment of character. Some subjects, however, 
lend themselves more readily than others to 
such treatment or method of presentation, such 
for example as history, economics, literature, 
religious education and Bible ; but there is not 
a subject that cannot be taught in such a way 
as to give an interpretation of life and impart 
a certain eagerness to live in the terms of the 
highest values. This is the joy of teaching 
and it is also the joy of learning, and when 
it is missed, all is missed. The courses taught 
in college would create a dull, drab, and unin- 
teresting world if they led only to sheer intel- 
lectual achievement. We must not blind stu- 

e Bower, Ibid., p. 548. 



dents, in the judgment of President Coffman, 
of Minnesota, to the more precious things of 
life through any narrow, grinding devotion to 
what is sometimes called scholarship. The 
courses they pursue must give students a vision 
of and insight into these more precious things 
of life. The course of study must produce 
men rather than academics. We shall neces- 
sarily have to recur to this matter when we 
come to the discussion of the professor as part 
of the curriculum, but our general position is 
that any field of human knowledge whatso- 
ever is a worthy object of human investigation 
and study, and, further, that it can be so 
taught as to inspire to Christian living. 

In our view, however, the moral and reli- 
gious values inherent in the curriculum rest 
upon a far more solid basis than is indicated 
in President Coffman's eloquent appeal. 
These values are inherent in the curriculum 

1. Learning is an experience; 

2. All experience is inherently moral and 
religious. That is, all experience is capable 
of relation to the highest ultimate values in- 
volved in a situation. 

3. The teacher is the mediator of these in- 
herent moral and religious qualities. 

4. The learner is the active agent in the 



educational process, using the moral and reli- 
gious meanings inherent in the curriculum as 
purposive control of conduct. 

5. It is, therefore, impossible to teach any 
subject without affecting character positively 
or negatively. 

The curriculum, therefore, will be built 
upon the experience of the learner and of the 
race and in terms of Christian idealism as 
gleaned from the experience of Jesus and 
those who have interpreted his teachings most 
helpfully in the centuries since. In organiz- 
ing it, certain areas of experience will be dis- 
covered by investigation of the practice and 
experience of those who are engaged in teach- 
ing, by examining the experiences of those 
who are in the group as learners, and by 
experimentation. These areas will be broken 
up in similar manner into teaching units. At 
every step of the process the experience of 
the learner and the experience of the race 
in terms of the objective to be achieved will be 
brought to bear through content, method, and 
institutional organization upon the problems 
and issues involved. 

It would, therefore, appear that while the 
areas in such a curriculum may not change 
very considerably from time to time, and 
while the teaching units likewise may con- 



tinue comparatively stable so far as designa- 
tion is concerned, the content would vary ac- 
cording to the experience of the group and 
the objectives to be achieved. There will, 
therefore, in our judgment, be no standard 
curriculum that can be said to be offered in 
institutions of higher learning. The outward 
form and appearance may be the same, but 
the substance will be widely varied. And yet 
when the process has resulted in the objec- 
tives aimed at and the ideals desired, there 
will be found to be substantial agreement 
throughout and those who have pursued the 
process through to its end will be equally well 
qualified, other things being equal, to live 
their life in terms of Christian character. 

Keeping this view of the curriculum and 
this basis for the inherently moral and reli- 
gious values thereof constantly in mind, we 
now turn to consider how the three other ele- 
ments we have suggested as properly consti- 
tuting the curriculum may be utilized for 
character building. 

II. The Professor 

Those of us who teach have been prone to 
look upon ourselves as the agents, the admin- 
istrators of the curriculum, and we are this. 
However, we are ourselves also in a very es- 



sential sense a major item in the curriculum 
itself. According to the law of North Caro- 
lina, a mule now is a vehicle when he appears 
on the public highways, and consequently at 
night he must carry a light, both in front and 
behind. Just so the college professor becomes 
a vehicle when he enters his classroom and at 
all times he must supply light. The definition 
of a college as "Mark Hopkins on one end of 
a log and the student on the other" is a homely 
way of expressing the public's belief in the 
strategic importance of the professor in the 
process of education. Our students not only 
learn the subjects the professor teaches, but 
most especially they learn him. They learn 
him not only in the classroom, but in every 
contact of their life with his. 

John R. Mott lists ten methods by which the 
professor may influence his students in a 
Christian way. He prefaces his list with the 
opportunities that come to the professor in 
connection with his regular work, and con- 
siders it is one of the two outstanding oppor- 
tunities which the professor has to mold the 
character of his students in a Christian way. 
The second of these two greatest opportuni- 
ties he places last in his list and says that it is 
first in importance, provided the professor dis- 
charges his professional work well. This 



greatest opportunity, Doctor Mott says, is 
"that of forming individual friendships with 
individual students, weaving into his conver- 
sation with them the deepest things of life." 7 
The other items which Doctor Mott lists are 
giving wise publicity to the Christian activi- 
ties of the students, opening his home to the 
workers and to the activities, presiding over 
student meetings, speaking under the auspices 
of or at student meetings, teaching voluntary 
courses in Bible and Christian life principles, 
writing for magazines and periodicals and 
newspapers, coaching in the realm of ethical 
standards, and leading students to think on 
the principles underlying their various Chris- 
tian activities. 

From two sources, therefore, a professor is 
essentially part of the college curriculum./ He 
is the purveyor of certain information and 
attitudes through his classroom, lecture, and 
laboratory work, and as an individual his in- 
fluence in a personal way is tremendous in 
molding the life and character of his students. 

It is difficult to differentiate these services 
in hard-and-fast way from each other, and it 
is doubtful if such differentiation should be 

T John R. Mott, The Opportunity of the Professor for 
Christian Work Among Students. Association Press (1920), 
pp. 5-12. Used by permission. 



attempted even if it were possible. Every 
professor is a philosopher. He has a philoso- 
phy of life. It is reflected in the attitude he 
assumes toward his subject, in the chance re- 
marks he utters in the way of comments on 
current events on the campus and in the world 
in connection with his teaching, and it finds 
in his own living an incarnate expression. 
There is a disposition in certain intellectual 
quarters to desire to deprive scientists in par- 
ticular of this privilege to philosophize, but 
it cannot be done, and it ought not to be done 
if it could be. [Here is the real heart of teach- 
ing. Students should and do learn more 
from the philosophy of the professor that will 
be of permanent value to them than they get 
from their textbooks or his scholarly investi- 
igationsj Students and professors, however, 
(should understand that spiritual interpreta- 
tion is primarily and ultimately for religious 
experts, and their leadership in such matters 
should not be deprecated nor belittled. 
We have a demand in our day for orienta- 
I tion courses, for educational counsel, and for 
' vocational guidance. The source or cause of 
all three of these demands is the same — the 
departmentalization of our colleges so that 
professors teach as specialists and are largely 
content with the impartation of knowledge 



without attempt or success in fitting their 
particular subject in with other subjects and 
with life. Every course of study should be an 
orientation course and every professor should 
be able to give students educational counsel 
and assist in vocational guidance. Professors, 
however, who are successful in these matters 
must be real professors, real teachers of men 
and women and not just purveyors of certain 

We are fast approaching the time when we 
will agree that it makes very little difference 
what the student may select as the field of 
his major concern in college, provided he mas- 
ters it in its relationships. The selection of 
a major may mean everything to a student so 
far as his vocation in life is concerned, or it 
may mean nothing. It will certainly mean 
everything to his intellectual and spiritual de- 
velopment if that major is pursued in such a 
way as to orientate the student with reference 
to all fields of learning and with reference to 
life. This cannot be done without professors 
of the right kind, but neither can the profes- 
sor alone do it. Learning is a' joint process in 
which the mind of the student as well as the 
mind of the professor is active. We will cer- 
tainly never be able to make our institutions 
Christian, no matter how many Departments 


of Bible or Religious Education we incorpo- 
rate in them, unless we have professors who 
teach their particular subjects from the stand- 
point of a Christian philosophy of life. The 
professor's philosophy of life is more import- 
ant than the subject matter he teaches, is a 
most important ingredient of the college cur- 
riculum. He should found his philosophy on 
a Christian view of life and an appreciative 
acquaintance with the conclusions of our rec- 
ognized spiritual leaders. 

Even so incisive a critic of higher education 
as Mr. H. L. Mencken recognizes the values 
that come to the student mind from contact 
with real teachers. He thinks the discovery 
of the fraudulence in college teaching and in 
its emphases, is a chief gain from a college 
course, and urges young people to put up with 
its follies to reap this good. He says: "I be- 
lieve that it [the ability to discover fraudu- 
lence in colleges and in college professors] is 
being taught in the American colleges to-day, 
and on an unprecedented scale. Swamped by 
hordes of unteachable students, with their fac- 
ulties overworked and what they call their 
plants strained to the uttermost, they have 
been forced to throw their old standards over- 
board, and to take in all sorts of pedagogical 
amateurs and quacks. These quacks now essay 



to instruct the youth of the land. What they 
try to teach is not learned, and maybe is not 
worth learning, but what they are themselves 
is detected and remembered, and in that re- 
membrance there are the rudiments, at least, 
of true education. 

"Moreover, they accomplish something else : 
they throw up in a brilliant light the merits 
of those of their colleagues who are genuinely 
men of learning. In the average American 
college, perhaps, there are not many of the 
latter, but in even the meanest college there 
are apt to be a few. The influence of such 
men upon the students is immensely salubrious 
and valuable. They make it plain to even the 
dullest that there are ends in this world quite 
as alluring as material success — that men of 
high character may and do pursue them, and 
gladly. They are standing answers to the 
whole rumble-bumble of American Babbittry. 

"If a boy emerges from college with an un- 
derstanding of that point of view, so rare in 
America, and with a soundly cynical attitude 
toward the pretensions that fill the world with 
noise and confusion, he has gained quite 
enough, it seems to me, to compensate him for 
four years of his life. His increase in positive 
knowledge may not be great, but it is very 
likely to be great enough: two thirds of the 


: things that are taught in college, even when 
tfiey are well taught, are not worth knowing. 
^The main thing is to learn the difference be- 
tween appearances and realities. That may be 
done, of course, anywhere, but it is probably 
best done, at least in the case of the average 
boy, in some institution which represents the 
world in little, and in which the experience of 
man on earth is fairly boiled down." 8 

III. The Environment 

It is true that students can rise above a col- 
lege's environment, but it ought not to be nec- 
essary for them to do so. Some of the en- 
vironment that enters into the molding of 
Christian character on the part of students 
is pre-collegiate. It begins in the home and 
widens out to include the school and the 
church. The college can be responsible only 
indirectly for these pre-collegiate environ- 
mental influences. By exercising its influence 
through its graduates and through the public 
utterances of its officers and administrators, 
a college may over a long period of time find 
itself able to mold these pre-collegiate influ- 
ences. It can also protect itself against them 
by carefully selecting its pupils. 

8 H. L. Mencken, "The Mencken Mind" (Syndicated Ar- 
ticle), September 25, 1927. Used by permission. 



The environment of the institution itself, 
however, is particularly influential in molding 
the life, ideals, and character of the student. 
The physical plant of the college, for which 
the institution is particularly responsible, may 
be so aesthetic as to contribute positively 
toward the character and ideals of the stu- 
dents. It may be influential in the very oppo- 
site direction if it is not architecturally beau- 
tiful nor sanitarily kept. 

The economic standards too are influential 
in forming character and the college is re- 
sponsible for these standards. Some institu- 
tions permit such luxurious and spendthrift 
methods on the part of their students, and 
even encourage such methods, that character 
is undermined. 

The traditions of the college which enter 
into that subtle influence which we call college 
atmosphere or spirit and which it is within 
the province of the institution itself to create 
and to modify, mold the character of the stu- 
dents far more decidedly than we are some- 
times inclined to think. 

The college community too has a great deal 
to do with the character of students. The col- 
lege authorities therefore should not only be 
good citizens, but should be active in their 
efforts to build a wholesome community for 


the college students. No American college has 
complete extra-territoriality and, therefore, 
there should be every effort exercised to make 
the community an ideal place for student life. 

In general, with reference to the whole mat- 
ter of environment, it may be said that about 
the most hopeful characteristic of our customs 
and social ideals is their modifiability. We 
can change the atmosphere of any college if 
we set out to do so and continue at the project 
long enough. Colleges must not satisfy them- 
selves with the thought that they are not re- 
sponsible for the environment in which their 
students have to live and work. They are re- 
sponsible, and should recognize that the en- 
vironment is a real factor in the curriculum 
of any college. 

IV. The Activities 9 

We are accustomed to look upon the college 
activities as being extra-curricular, and some- 
times we have become impatient with the ten- 
dency of these activities to assume, as Wood- 
row Wilson said, more importance in the col- 
lege organization than teaching itself. There 
are reasons why the activities of the campus 

9 For a full discussion of the place and influence of the ac- 
tivities in colleges and universities, see Edwards, Artman, 
and Fisher, Undergraduates, Chapters ii, iii, iv, v, and vi. 
Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. (1928). 



appeal to students far more strongly than the 
routine of the classroom. To begin with, these 
activities are related directly to life. They 
are voluntary, and they challenge initiative. 
When you have listed these three gripping 
characteristics of college activities, you can 
understand why they make such a tremendous 
appeal to students. And, after all, unless the 
new psychology is absolutely at fault, these 
activities do afford splendid opportunities for 
real education. I have, therefore, classified 
them as a vital part of the curriculum. We 
should regard them as necessary and promis- 
ing items of our college program. They are 
laboratories of life and are comparable to lab- 
oratories in physics and chemistry, though 
far more valuable in character building. 

I feel also justified in including them as 
part and parcel of the curriculum, because 
ultimately the college is responsible for these 
activities, their presence, and the methods by 
which they are conducted, just as it is respon- 
sible for the environment of the campus, for 
the professors who teach, and for the courses 
which they offer. College administrators and 
professors have made a terrible blunder in 
turning over these activities almost wholly to 
the students themselves. A saner attitude is 
beginning to appear on the horizon, and col- 


leges are beginning to recognize their ulti- 
mate responsibility. Three questions arise in 
connection with these activities, and they are 
of paramount importance. First : Should the 
college content itself with offering counsel 
with reference to the conduct of these activi- 
ties? Second: Should there be joint faculty 
and student supervision of them? Third: 
Should academic credit be given for the faith- 
ful and efficient rendering of service in any or 
all of these activities? 

These activities are various in the modern 
college. They cover athletics, physical wel- 
fare, student government and honor systems; 
publications, dramatic and musical clubs, pub- 
lic discussions and debates, and the social and 
religious life. 

Competition seems to be the dominant meth- 
od of conducting these various activities, even 
competition with the so-called curricular sub- 
jects. There are so many organizations on the 
modern college campus that a tremendous 
amount of energy is consumed in maintaining 
them and, inasmuch as they oftentimes dupli- 
cate each other in many points, there is lost 
motion. Politics too get into the management 
of the activities to their hurt. The institution 
itself needs to integrate the organizations with 
one another and to adopt such a basis of rat- 



ing that no student can do himself injury by 
too great an investment of his time and energy 
in them. 

One college makes the following statement 

in its catalogue: 

That democracy may prevail in the distribution 
of honors and offices in the college, the faculty 
have rated each honor or office. No student may 
have more than a maximum of 100 points during 
any college year. The Commencement program 
announces the names of all who reach 100 points 
according to this rating. 

Offices and Points 

Student Senate 

President 60 

Vice-President 50 

Secretary 50 

Treasurer 50 

Senators 50 

Student Council 

President 60 

Vice-President 50 

Secretary 50 

Treasurer 50 

Councillors 50 


Chief Commence- 
ment 15 

Assistant Commence- 
ment 10 

Chief, Class or So- 
ciety 10 

Assistant, Class or 
Society 5 

Debaters, Orators, 

Inter-Collegiate 25 

Commencement ....25 

Society 25 

Class 25 

Officers 10 

Sunday School 

General Officers 25 

Class President 15 

Class Secretary 10 

Class Treasurer 10 

Volunteer Band 

President 25 

Other Officers 10 


Captain 25 



Varsity or "E" Men. 15 
Substitute Men 10 

College Classes, Liter- 
ary Societies 

President 25 

Vice-President 10 

Secretary 10 

Religious Activi- 
ties Organization 

President 60 

Vice-President 25 

Secretary 25 

Treasurer 25 

Committee Chairmen 25 

Y. W. and Y. M. C. A.'s 

President 25 

Vice-Presidents 10 

Secretary 10 

Treasurer 10 

Cabinet Member s ... 10 

Treasurer 10 

Committee Chairmen.10 

Chapel Monitors 

Members 10 


Chief 10 

Assistants 5 

Ministerial Association 

President 25 

Other Officers 10 

Treasurer 10 

Other Officers 10 

College Publications 

Editors in Chief 50 

Assistant Editors. . .25 
Business Managers. .50 
Assistant Business 

Managers 25 

Other Officers 10 

Club Officers 

President 25 

Vice-President 10 

Other Officers 10 

C. E. Society 

President 25 

Vice-President 10 

Secretary 10 

These activities have certain positive values, 
such as self-expression, the expansion of per- 
sonal influence, a sense of responsibility, and 
the possibility of supplying standards of ap- 
preciation for the highest values in any life 
situation. They call for persistent applica- 
tion, for mastery, and give the sense of achieve- 



ment and accomplishment. They provide a 
splendid camaraderie for team play and the 
other demands of social co-operation. They 
provide business and professional training and 
offer opportunity for the exercise of campus 
leadership, but these values must not be nulli- 
fied by the dangers that are inherent in them, 
among which are excessive demands on time, 
diversion from curricular studies, the inten- 
sification of the competitive spirit, the erection 
of false and inadequate standards for rating 
a fellow student's personal worth, the finan- 
cial abuses, and the misuses of leadership 
through campus politics. 

There are particular advantages as well as 
dangers resident in the exclusive social organ- 
izations, such as fraternities and sororities, 
whether of national or local type. Among the 
advantages of these organizations we may cer- 
tainly list their provision for intimate friend- 
ships, their fraternal purpose expressed in 
idealistic terms, their exaction of a personal 
pledge of loyalty to the group, their discipli- 
nary influence over their members, their con- 
cern for the success of other campus activities, 
their support of scholarship, moral standards, 
and religious interests, their relations to the 
alumni, the social and business connections 
they afford (if national) with members in 


other colleges, their provision of a convenient 
basis for social life, and the furtherance of 
the morals of the college by group acceptance 
of responsibility therefor. 

Negatively, these exclusive social clubs are 
charged with rarely being the congenial groups 
they are supposed to be, with producing snobs 
through an unjustifiable sense of superiority, 
with holding their members to their oath of loy- 
alty when congeniality fails, with engendering 
expensive habits of living, with a tendency to 
drag the best members down to the average 
level or even to the lowest in the group, with 
inability to maintain consistent standards of 
scholarship or conduct over a continuous pe- 
riod of time, with the suppression of individ- 
ual expression in the interest of a type, with 
forcing members to undertake activities they 
are not fitted for, or too many activities, with 
undertaking to control the campus social, ath- 
letic, and governmental life, with too much 
yielding to "sports" among their alumni, with 
becoming an end in themselves and with no 
thought of helping their college, as being the 
very antithesis of democracy and of Chris- 
tian brotherhood. 

The following factors are offered as sug- 
gestions for their improvement as character- 
building agencies. The absence of these fac- 



tors to any marked degree should receive in- 
stitutional investigation at once, because, in 
the last analysis, the college itself is, as we 
have said, answerable to the students and the 
public generally for the proper conduct of its 
student exclusive social clubs as well as for 
the other campus activities. Fourteen such 
points or factors will be named : 

1. The leadership should be intelligent and 
courageous and should include faculty mem- 
bers as well as students representing a cross- 
section of college interests. 

2. The membership should be a congenial 
group committed to worthy objectives, chosen 
on a basis of personal worth, and not narrow 
in the type of men or women it includes. The 
Dean should approve all pledges in advance. 

3. There should be a common interest, bene- 
ficial to the college and to society at large as 
well as to themselves. 

4. There should be freedom to take up or to 
transfer membership to other more congenial 
groups, should the occasion arise as the col- 
lege course advances. 

5. There should be absence of dictation to 
individuals as to personal friendships or social 
or other activities. The individual should be 
encouraged to express his personality. 

6. Methods should be employed to stimulate 



each one to do his best, with absence of sup- 

7. There should be a suitable meeting place, 
but not luxurious. The college should provide 
the room, but the members should furnish it. 
Local conditions might render this impossible. 
Fraternity houses should ideally be taken 
over by the college and placed under the dor- 
mitory system. The Princeton Plan is per- 
haps the best. 

8. Living conditions should be within the 
individual member's means. The college should 
provide dormitories and also dining hall facil- 
ities where possible, and should feel officially 
responsible for supervision where this is not 

9. There should be a wholesome group en- 
vironment, acceptable to faculty and students 

10. There should be freedom from inter- 
group competition and combination against 
non-club members. A council of faculty, club 
and non-club representatives should control 
campus relations. 

11. There should be freedom from dominat- 
ing influence of alumni, and particularly of 
the "sporting" variety. 

12. There should be an equitable opportu- 
nity for membership in some group to any 


student who desires it. The institution should 
guarantee this. The college should also pro- 
vide banquets and other means of social cul- 
ture for non-club members. 

13. There should be no recruiting of high- 
school students by these social clubs and no 
admission of freshmen to membership, cer- 
tainly not until the second semester, and pref- 
erably not at all. Freshmen rushing is an un- 
desirable practice in many respects. It par- 
ticularly operates against scholarship require- 
ments for membership. 

14. There should be a scholarship require- 
ment, say an average of 80 per cent for mem- 
bership. There should certainly be no divorce- 
ment of scholarship and the social life in mod- 
ern colleges. If the scholarship of a club be- 
comes notably poor, it should be suspended 
by "The Social Club Council," till it regains 
its standing. 




Our present agencies organized for the ex- 
pression of the Christian life in colleges and 
universities are manifold, too manifold in the 
judgment of many. There is a growing feel- 
ing on the part of college and university ad- 
ministrators that the multiplicity of religious 
agencies/ the duplication of their efforts, and 
the competition that necessarily ensues are 
undermining the opportunities for good in the 
realm of Christian character development in 
some instances. Of course the institutions are 
not wholly to blame for this situation, nor are 
the agencies themselves. They are the out- 
growth to some extent of the sectarian con- 
fusions of the Christian Church which natu- 
rally and inevitably tend to reflect themselves 
in colleges, but we cannot charge to sectarian- 
ism the total debit in this case. In a desire to 
be friendly and co-operative colleges have per- 

^ee Harper, An Integrated Program of Religious Edu- 
cation, The Macmillan Company (1926), chapters i, ii, 
and iii, and Edwards, Artman, and Fisher, Undergraduates, 
chapter viii. Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. (1928). 



mitted agencies that duplicate and compete 
with each other, excellent it is true, if taken 
alone and separate, to come to their campuses 
and to defeat in large measure a constructive 
program for Christian character building. 
Just as Christian union appears to be neces- 
sary for the Christian world if its missionary 
program and its social gospel are to be suc- 
cessful, just so there must be an integration 
of the religious agencies on college and uni- 
versity campuses that undertake to minister 
to the religious life of students. 

These agencies are conveniently listed under 
three categories. The first of these would in- 
clude the agencies provided by the institution 
itself in its administrative attempts to supply 
a religious atmosphere and opportunity for 
self-expression spiritually for its students. 
The second category would include the efforts 
of the churches as organized bodies to min- 
ister to the social, religious, and spiritual in- 
terests of students. Under a third category 
would be included voluntary associations of 
students themselves for their religious and 
spiritual culture, whether these associations 
be local or whether they be in co-operation 
with national agencies in the student field. 

Colleges have always felt that they are un- 
der obligation to provide a religious atmos- 


phere for their students. Even the institu- 
tions supported by public taxation have felt 
that they must too provide such opportuni- 
ties as are represented in chapel services, 
whether compulsory or voluntary, in preaching 
services, in the traditions of the institution as 
related to the cultivation of moral and spirit- 
ual attitudes, with a particular penchant for 
employing only teachers of good moral char- 
acter without really subjecting their faculty 
members to a religious test. The church col- 
leges, 2 however, have laid great stress on the 
general spiritual atmosphere that surrounds 
them and upon the personal influence and 
character of their professors and administra- 
tors. They have until recently almost unan- 
imously insisted on compulsory attendance on 
chapel and on the preaching services of the 
campus church on Sundays. Some of them 
also require Sunday-school attendance. Also 
in recent years there has developed a pro- 
nounced tendency toward personnel work, ex- 
pressing itself educationally and vocationally 
and related directly to the religious life de- 
partments of these institutions. This person- 

2 We use the term "church" or denominational college in 
this book as defined by the Association of American Colleges 
(See Proceedings of the First Animal Meeting, p. 126) as 
follows: "An institution standing in a definite relation, legal, 
affiliated, or friendly, to a Christian denomination." 



nel work too is a major concern and very ef- 
ficiently managed in many State universities. 

The churches that serve the campuses of our 
colleges have burdened themselves in many 
cases to render a service of spiritual culture 
and religious nurture to college students. A 
saner policy in recent years has appeared in 
the acceptance of partial responsibility for 
the maintenance of these college churches by 
the Boards of Education of the various denom- 
inations. These boards have made it possible 
for these churches contiguous to college cam- 
puses to have modern and thoroughly up-to- 
date plants. They have provided university 
pastors ; joined in maintaining church founda- 
tions for the teaching of Bible and Religious 
Education; and in various other ways united 
with the local forces, though for the most part 
respecting the autonomy of each local church, 
in the effort to make the churches ministering 
to student life thoroughly efficient and mod- 
ern. The programs at times which these 
Boards of Education have passed over to these 
local churches and college communities have, 
however, not always served the best interests 
of these churches, the colleges or the students. 

The Y.M.O.A. has been a recognized agency 
of the religious life on college campuses since 
the first student association was formed at the 


University of Virginia in 1858, and the second 
in Princeton in 1877. The Y.W.C.A. came 
later, but approaches the student problem 
from the same general viewpoint. Numbers 
of colleges have all-time secretaries for the 
Y.M.C.A., but so far as we know there is no 
paid Y.W. secretary in such an institution. 
These Christian Associations are quite active 
at this time to enlarge their service to Ameri- 
can college life, and they are oftentimes espe- 
cially fortunate in helping local leaders to 
build their programs with particular situa- 
tions and objectives in view. 

This has not always been the case, however, 
and so there developed at the University of 
Pennsylvania twenty years ago a student 
Christian association, separate and apart from 
the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A. The general 
approach to the student problem, however, in 
the University of Pennsylvania is from the 
same standpoint as the Y.M.C.A. There are 
nevertheless certain added features which 
make it distinctive, so much so that Cornell 
University has also adopted the Pennsylvania 
plan. In these two universities each of the 
larger religious denominations has a student 
pastor with a person designated to represent 
the membership of the smaller denominations 
in the student body and with a general secre- 


tary or director over all. All these workers, 
in co-operation with interested local denomi- 
national leaders, have constructed a united 
program of Christian effort, engaging in such 
forms of committee work on a co-operative ba- 
sis as experience indicates has been or will be 

The organization of the religious work at 
the University of Pennsylvania, adopted at 
Cornell seven years ago, after thirteen prior 
years of successful operation at Pennsylvania, 
embodies three methods described as antago- 
nistic co-operation, friendly personal co-oper- 
ation, and organized co-operation. The gen- 
eral secretary, the Rev. Ray Freeman Jen- 
ney, D.D., outlines its essential features as 
follows : 

Briefly, the essentials of a staff arrangement 
like that at Pennsylvania and Cornell, which I 
believe to be the most acceptable type of co-opera- 
tion, if it fits the local situation, are as follows : 

1. Some kind of a central organization formed 
on a basis agreement to come together and to stick 
together in presenting a common front in the 
name of Christianity to the entire life of the 

2. This agreement to include at its inception 
university pastors, local pastors, district or Con- 
ference officials, national secretaries of Boards 
of Education, and direct representatives of stu- 

Pennsylvania's Plan 



dent religious groups, such as Y. M. C. A., both 
students and members of existing boards. This 
should ideally include both men and women as at 

3. The free and wholly independent working 
out of purely denominational responsibilities by 
each denominational representative in his own 
way and in accord with the historic emphasis of 
his own communion. 

4. A staff organization in which there is spe- 
cialization in executive work covering all phases 
of united effort. Each university pastor serving 
as the executive of one phase of this united work 
is related through it to the life of the whole uni- 
versity. With them there is a correlating execu- 
tive of the United Work and such other special 
secretaries (not related to particular churches) 
as the situation requires — such as Miss Peabody 
and Mr. Trowbridge at Cornell, Mr. How, Mr. 
Stevenson, and others at Pennsylvania. Only men 
of genuinely co-operative spirit and life can share 
effectively in such a staff. 

5. A Board of Directors made up of an equal 
number of trustworthy men interested in student 

6. When a staff vacancy occurs the choice of a 
new member for the dual work of university pas- 
tor and director of one branch of the united work 
to be made only after confidential conference in 
advance, this conference to be between the respon- 
sible denominational officials, and those who repre- 
sent the same church in the united work board, 
and the correlating executive. 

7. Arrangement of salary responsibility should 
be settled by agreement between the parties 
directly concerned and the salaries should be paid 
through the United Work Treasury. 

8. It is now considered to be a general practice 



at Pennsylvania and Cornell that the university 
pastor staff member is closely related to the local 
church (or churches) of his denomination in 
which students (and faculty) most largely wor- 
ship, he being their pastor, but he does not ordi- 
narily have any official connections with this local 
church. (Duties are adjusted variously with the 
local pastors.) 

9. In relation to the university he is not a mem- 
ber of the faculty (unless by separate engagement 
on part time) . The United Work is recognized by 
the university and being located with its officers 
and building on the campus has the backing of the 
university. (We have the moral backing of the 
university, but no financial backing.) 

10. The openness of this entire plan of co-opera- 
tion to the representatives of all such communions 
as are ready responsibly to undertake their fair 
share of joint effort, to come in with freedom 
from antagonistic attitudes, and in conscious de- 
termination to magnify every common Christian 
emphasis and to work unitedly. 

11. That this organization so conceived and de- 
veloped is the Christian Association in the uni- 
versity, with its undergraduate officers, Cabinet, 
and committees. Undergraduate initiative to be 
safeguarded with exceptional care. The organiza- 
tion to include ideally and as of Pennsylvania 
both men and women. The secretary of the Y. W. 
C. A. has a place on our staff. The general direc- 
tor of the Christian Association has a place at the 
meeting of the Y. W. C. A. Committee and board 
and the treasurer of the Christian Association 
receives and distributes the Y. W. C. A. funds, but 
the initiative and activities of the Y. W. C. A. are 
in no way dictated or interfered with by the Chris- 
tian Association. As embracing the Christian 
Associations, the United Work has friendly rela- 



tions with the student department of the Interna- 
tional Committee of the Y. M. C. A. and the Na- 
tional Board of the Y. W. C. A. 

12. The joint habit of working together daily in 
a single cluster of offices and the holding of a 
weekly staff meeting in which all possible points 
of friction and joint effort are laid on the table 
with the utmost frankness and an annual confer- 
ence of the staff in which the duties for the year 
are adjusted, and full responsibility accepted by 
each staff member. 3 

Doctor Jenney also strongly urges the 
Pennsylvania plan in a statement to which 
he gives the title : 

The Pennsylvania Plan After a Fair Trial 

The Pennsylvania plan is, in essence, an organic 
unification of the Christian forces of the uni- 
versity, both denominational and interdenomina- 
tional, on the basis of the church idea. Whatever 
distinctiveness the plan may have lies in the two 
features indicated in this definition : 

1. It provides a unity which is not merely 
sympathetic, fraternal, and co-operative, but 
which is formal and organic. All the employed 
workers, whether denominational or departmen- 
tal, receive their commissions from, and. all feel 
responsibility to, a common Board of Directors. 

The unifying idea of the plan is the idea of 
the united church at work in the university. This 
idea is incorporated in various ways in the by- 
laws of the Association, for example, in the provi- 
sion for special denominational representatives on 
the Board of Directors, in accepting all students 

8 Used with permission of Doctor Jenney. 



who are church members as ipso facto members of 
the Association, and in having the various denomi- 
nations represented by the vice-president in the 
Student Cabinet. The church consciousness of the 
Association affects every phase of its work, the 
interdenominational included. 

As to the actual working of the plan, the first 
thing to say is that a spirit of real unity exists, 
and the closest co-operation is maintained between 
all the Christian workers involved. This may be 
brought out in a number of concrete facts : 

(1) In a two-days' conference at the beginning 
of the year the entire staff, which is made up of 
university student ministers, directors, and spe- 
cial secretaries, and those who combine both func- 
tions into one, met and drew up an official outline 
of the year's program, determining what phases of 
the work should be stressed by all in common dur- 
ing the successive months of the year. 

(2) There is a regular conference of the entire 
staff each week for purposes of prayer, reports of 
work during the preceding week, and plans of 
work for the coming week. 

(3) The offices of the members of the staff are 
in the same suite of rooms, thus bringing the 
members into daily contact with each other. 

(4) The smaller denominations for which there 
are no special university pastors are officially pro- 
vided for and assigned to Mr. Eddy. 

(5) Those students who on their matriculation 
cards did not express a preference for any church 
have been provided for by a committee made up of 
the strongest Christian students of all denomina- 
tions and put under the supervision of the general 
director. As soon as it is ascertained that any 
of these students really prefer some particular 
denomination, the name is transferred to the 
proper university pastor. 




(6) Lastly it may be said that no university 
pastor thinks of himself or is regarded as a sub- 
secretary. The general director is simply an 
indispensable primus inter pares. Every man is 
in full charge of his own parish or department, 
and there is not the slightest suggestion of any 
subordination so far as the graduate secretaries 
are concerned. 

2. In the second place, it should be noted that 
the interdenominational or general features of our 
religious work have not at all suffered, but have, 
rather, been strengthened by our insistence upon 
the church idea. The fraternity, dormitory, and 
departmental Bible classes continue as usual. 
Religious deputations were never more numerous 
or enlisted the services of more men. The Uni- 
versity Settlement House and other forms of serv- 
ice never had more student helpers. This year 
marked our high-water mark of student contribu- 
tion to our general budget. All along the line 
the general work has never been in better shape. 

And, lastly, the plan is really cultivating and 
increasing loyalty on the part of the students to 
the church. Our records for the year so far show 
a distinct advance of student interest along the 
following lines : church attendance, church Young 
People's societies, and social gatherings. The first 
interview which a Freshman has with a represen- 
tative of the Christian Association is for the pur- 
pose primarily of inducing him to identify 
himself with the church. He becomes aware of 
the student ministers of his denomination and 
of the specializing secretary afterward, and 
although, of course, the attempt is made ulti- 
mately to interest him in all lines of the Asso- 
ciation's work, it is our effort to maintain and 
re-enforce this original psychological impression. 

In final, we believe that our experience justi- 


fies us in holding that for us at least the plan is 
one which secures real unity between all the 
factors involved and is capable of producing the 
kind of a finished product we all desire, namely, 
a student who is loyal to Christ and to the Church 
of Christ, and who is efficient in both denomina- 
tional and interdenominational work along prac- 
tical Christian lines. 4 (See the two graphs on 
pages 106 and 107, which are used with the per- 
mission of Dr. Ray Freeman Jenney.) 

Each one of these provisions or agencies 
holds its place in the academic field by rea- 
son of its supposed or professed educational 
value. There could be no justification for 
permitting any one of these agencies to com- 
pete for the students 5 interest and time, but 
for the contribution it professes to make to 
their well-rounded education, and unless any 
particular provision or agency has shown by 
experience it has this quality, there can be 
no justification on the part of the college 
administration to permit it to longer cumber 
the academic program. And, positively speak- 
ing, unless these provisions or agencies are 
found to make definite and constructive con- 
tribution to character growth and develop- 
ment, they should be rigidly excluded. At 
least this is the thesis we present and are 
ready to defend in this discussion. 

It is oftentimes found that a student's in- 

*Quoted by permission. 



terest in the religious life is really dissipating 
his energies through attending a multiplicity 
of committee meetings and group sessions, 
taking part in social functions, and studying 
voluntary courses that are supposed to have 
value in attitudinizing the life of students, 
with no time for rendering social service, to 
say nothing of opportunity for deliberative 
meditation leading to a convincing and settled 
philosophy of life, and frequently, in addition, 
undermining the student's success as a stu- 
dent in his curricular work. The co-ordina- 
tion, correlation, and integration of these pro- 
visions and agencies of the religious life of 
our college campuses is a problem of major 
concern for college administrators and one 
that they cannot decline to face or fail to un- 
dertake measures to remedy. 

Particularly in reference to programs that 
are handed down from central agencies is 
there found special injury to the religious life 
of students along the lines mentioned. The 
Y.M.C.A. will hand down its program. The 
denominational Board of Education will hand 
down its program. The local church will have 
its program. The college will likely have its 
program. Each program will call for study 
courses, for group meetings, for discussion, 
and for a financial campaign, so that the con- 


sequence is that the student is overburdened 
or dismayed, or else sickens at the whole com- 
petitive situation and neglects his religious 
culture entirely. 

How One College Handles the Matter 

Elon College faced the problem of integrat- 
ing its religious agencies some dozen years 
ago. Just about that time instruction in re- 
ligious education was undertaken at Elon 
and a class of Juniors and Seniors were study- 
ing the general problem of the organization 
and administration of Religious Education. It 
occurred to the class to make the college and 
its community the subject of a real project. 
A survey of the organized religious life of 
the college and the college town was accord- 
ingly made. Before setting forth the revela- 
tions of this survey it should be said that Elon 
College is a typical college town. The com- 
munity centers around the college, and there 
was no organized civic life but only the open 
country prior to the founding of the college 
in 1889. It also should be said that there is 
no denominational problem in the community. 
The only church organization in the town is 
that which meets on the college campus in 
the auditorium and is pastored by the college 
pastor, the faculty members and citizens con- 


stituting the stable membership of this or- 

The survey revealed the following situation : 
A Y.M.C.A. 
A Y.W.C.A. 

A Christian Endeavor Society. 

A Ministerial Association. 

A Student Volunteer Band. 

A College Sunday School. 

Each of these organizations insisted on hold- 
ing a prayer or discussion group, for the most 
part an old-time prayer meeting at some time 
during each week. In addition to the Sunday 
school, there were four voluntary study 
classes, which also met* weekly to pursue what 
were supposed to be vocational courses qual- 
ifying those who took them particularly for 
some phase of Christian work. One young 
man was found to be attending Sunday school, 
four other organizations, and three voluntary 
study courses a week. While he was the ex- 
treme case, there were others who attended 
as many prayer or discussion groups a week 
as he did, and added to that at least one, if 
not two, voluntary classes for the study of 
the religious life and its problems. 

A humorous side of this situation was the 
insistence on the part of the Student Volun- 
teer Band that it should meet coeducationally. 


The members of this band were sure that the 
Y.M.O.A. and the Y.W.C.A. officials did not 
understand the necessity for young men and 
young women of similar aspirations to meet 
in a common volunteer band. One enthusias- 
tic advocate of the coeducational organization 
insisted that evidently the national officials 
of these two great organizations were old 
bachelors or old maids and did not understand 
the proper method of developing the spiritual 
life. When the faculty felt that an adviser 
should be appointed for this group, there was 
a vigorous protest on the ground that an alien 
spirit nullified the Divine Presence. The real 
reason for this situation developed later when, 
upon leaving the college, two couples out of a 
group of eleven set up homes for themselves. 
Only two of the eleven have entered foreign- 
mission work, and there was no social feature 
as far as they were concerned in the band. 

The college did not, however, provide for 
the legitimate expression of the social life, and 
so the development of the religious life was 
made the excuse for the increase of social 

There was plenty of testimony and free dis- 
cussion of religious problems on the campus, 
but it was next to impossible to induce the 
students to undertake anything in the way of 


social service, either for themselves or for oth- 

As to the Community 

The survey revealed the following situation 
as to the community : 

Sunday School, ungraded. 

A Boy Scout Troop (far from flourishing). 

There was no provision for social or recre- 
ational life for the young people of the com- 
munity. The young girls of the community 
had only the Sunday school as a means of 
religious development. 

The survey also revealed that the Christian 
Orphanage located in the community needed 
special attention, and that the colored popu- 
lation was almost entirely devoid of social 
and religious opportunities. 

The Prescription 

Having diagnosed the case, this earnest- 
minded group of young people set to work to 
prescribe cures for the situation, and, first of 
all, they created a "Religious Activities Or- 
ganization" for their own campus, in which 
all the religious activities of the college were 
integrated into a single working whole. We 
herewith quote their constitution as follows: 


Religious Activities Organization in Elon 


Feeling the need of closer co-operation among 
the various religious organizations ministering to 
the spiritual life of the student body, and desir- 
ing to correlate and co-ordinate them in such a 
way as to avoid needless duplication of effort, 
while at the same time designing to conserve and 
promote the best interest of each organization as 
of each student, we, the Cabinets of the said 
religious organizations, have adopted the follow- 
ing constitution: 

Article I — Name 
The name of this organization shall be The Reli- 
gious Activities Organization in Elon College. 

Article II — Purpose 
The purpose of the organization shall be that 
set forth in the preamble to this Constitution, 
modified and enlarged from time to time as experi- 
ence may suggest and the constituent bodies 

Article III — Members 
The members of this organization shall be the 
Cabinets of the Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., Chris- 
tian Endeavor Society, Life Recruit Bands, 4 Col- 
lege Sunday School, and Ministerial Association, 
with such other allied religious organizations as 
may by vote be admitted. 

Article IV — Officers 
The organization shall have as its officers a 

4 At first, these were known as The Student Volunteer 



president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer, 
whose duties shall be those prescribed for such 
officers in Roberts' Eules of Order. These officers 
shall be elected by the cabinet members of the 
constituent bodies and may be chosen from the 
whole group of college students. Other officers 
may from time to time be added, as the organiza- 
tion may decide. 

Article V — Departments 
The organization shall have as many depart- 
ments as there are constituent bodies and the 
Cabinets of these bodies shall constitute these de- 
partments. These departments shall report to the 
proper outside organizations the work of their 
respective department and be responsible for the 
development of the same upon the campus. The 
college honor points shall not be affected by this 
change of name. 

Article VI — Committees 
The organization shall have the following com- 
mittees: Group Meetings, Study Courses, Social 
Activities, Budget, Membership, and Community 
Service, and such others as may from time to time 
be added. Each committee shall have six mem- 
bers, or one for each constituent body. The presi- 
dent shall appoint these committees after con- 
sultation with the president of each constituent 

Article VII — Duties of Committees 
Section 1. Group Meetings — This committee 
shall arrange for as many prayer and discussion 
groups and other types of meeting as in its judg- 
ment is wise. There shall be at least one monthly 
public service for all the groups, and all group 
meetings shall be held at the same time. There 


shall be prayer and discussion groups as follows : 
Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., Christian Endeavor, Life 
Recruit Bands, and Ministerial Association^ 
Other groups may from time to time be provided. 
Whenever any group numbers more than forty 
it shall be divided. 

Section 2. Study Courses — This committee 
shall construct a program of Christian themes for 
the year and arrange with the Sunday-school 
superintendent to have them given in the college 
Sunday-school classes. 

Section 3. Social Activities — This committee 
shall have charge of the stunts and other social 
activities! of the constituent religious bodies. 

Section If. Budget — This committee shall can- 
vass the student body to raise the budget sub- 
mitted by them fir the constituent religious bodies 
and adopted for the year for each, using the 
weekly envelope system of collections for the 
pledges secured. 

Section 5. Membership — This committee shall 
look after securing members, attendance, and 
other such items as naturally fall to such a body. 

Section 6. Community Service — This com- 
mittee shall articulate its work with the Depart- 
ment of Christian Education of the college, assist- 
ing in every way possible, particularly in the week- 
day religious work, the supervised play, the Boy 
Scouts, and Camp Fire Girls now being conducted 
for the Elon Graded School pupils, and also tak- 
ing part in the work for the Negroes and the 
Christian Orphanage, and in such other work as 
may from time to time be instituted. 

Article VIII— Amendments 
This Constitution may be amended by a two- 
thirds vote of the Cabinets of the constituent 
bodies and the organization's officers, after a 


month's notice has been given on the college bulle- 
tin boards. By-laws may be passed at any meet- 
ing by a two-thirds vote of those present. 

There have been changes in the details in 
the view of experience, but no interference 
with the general plan. For example, for the 
year 1927-28 a student and faculty commit- 
tee arranges for union programs to take the 
place of the evening programs on Sunday. 
They provide one evening a month each for 
a dramatization (biblical), an open forum on 
some Christian problem, and a sacred con- 
cert, leaving the fourth Sunday evening for 
separate meetings, and fifth Sundays for out- 
side speakers. The attendance is fine, and the 
separate departments function now very 
largely in ministry to the social and personal 
life of students and in social service to the 

Voluntarism vs. Initiative 

We must not, in the next place, confuse 
student voluntarism with student initiative, 
as these agencies are so prone to do. They 
think if a student is left with a voluntary 
choice as to his participation in any program, 
they have satisfied the educational require- 
ment of interest as fundamental in the learn- 
ing process, and I have heard learned argu- 


ments delivered to enforce this viewpoint. 
Particularly it is urged that if students are 
allowed to choose whether they will go to 
chapel or to church or to enter upon Christian 
work in any religious agency, we have an ideal 
situation, but this is not the case. What is 
demanded is not merely voluntarism, but sit- 
uations that promote initiative, and this prin- 
ciple gives the negative to any program of 
whatsoever character handed down from a 
central bureau. We need to do some sound 
thinking along this line and to magnify initi- 
ative as foundational in any program of char- 
acter development. 

The colleges as such should recognize that 
these religious agencies have inherent in them 
tremendous possibilities for real education in 
the form of character building and should 
erect standards for measuring the educational 
efficiency of these organizations. We should 
cease to regard them as competing with cur- 
ricular subjects and should inaugurate meth- 
ods or procedures whereby they will be util- 
ized to the full as genuine educational meas- 
ures. It might be well to suggest some cri- 
teria 5 along this line. 

6 For a very able presentation of such criteria, see Ed- 
wards, Artman, and Fisher, Undergraduates, chapter viii. 
Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. (1928). 



1. How directly are the programs of these 
agencies based on the local situation in each 
case? We are beginning more and more to 
recognize that religion is not something ex- 
traneous to normal experience, but a quality 
of the daily life, a quality that leads a college 
student to seek for the highest values in local 
situations. The tendency, therefore, to ex- 
ploit the student population in the interest 
of certain projects or programs, whether they 
be reformative, social, political, denomina- 
tional, or interdenominational in character, 
does not commend itself to the student mind, 
nor does it win the approval of the best edu- 
cational thinking. There are qualities and 
needs in every local situation out of which a 
general program for the religious life of stu- 
dents can be constructed and wise leadership 
always seeks for such opportunities. This 
means that the program will change from year 
to year. It ought to change, because life it- 
self is changing and the spiritual interests of 
man should respond in terms of values to the 
demand of each local situation. 

2. Do these agencies co-operate with each 
other genuinely or, as the diplomats say, do 
they accept co-operation in principle and then 
each pursue its separate way? We cannot too 
strongly urge that the programs for the service 



of the religious life of modern students should 
be unified. These programs should be unified 
in such a way as to conserve all the good that 
all the agencies have to offer for the spiritual 
culture of college youth. They should be uni- 
fied in such a way that they will make a united 
impact upon the heart and mind and spirit 
of students. There should be no competition, 
no jealousy, but, on the contrary, there should 
be co-operation and mutual confidence and 
respect. This integrated program of ministry 
to the religious life of students should be thor- 
oughgoing in its scope. It should include re- 
ligious instruction of a voluntary character, 
social activities, recreational and amusement 
projects, the financial support of the agencies 
on a budgetary basis, and all other efforts on 
the part of any agency to perform a spiritual 
service for the college or its community or to 
secure support of any character for such an 

3. Are these agencies able to adjust them- 
selves to significant situations as they arise 
on the campus? Are they open-minded to dis- 
cover the experiences in student life which call 
for spiritual treatment? The program of any 
particular institution's voluntary religious 
agencies should never be so hard.and fast that 
it cannot be readily adjusted to the consider- 


ation of any emergency matter which may 
arise. It is out of such critical situations 
which occur in every college generation that 
real spiritual character arises. A program 
that is made in executive session, anticipating 
what are to be the problems and experiences 
and situations of a college year most likely 
to yield Christian character for those who take 
part in them, may under normal conditions 
turn out well. But anyone who is acquainted 
with college life knows that occasionally crises 
arise. Failure to face these crises and to 
adjust the religious program to the demands 
they make for the Christian solution of the 
issues involved, sometimes produces sad re- 
sults. In a particular institution, for exam- 
ple, during a particular session, the race ques- 
tion had been smugly disposed of in various 
discussion groups that had been provided for 
in the stately and dignified program of the cal- 
endar of the year as outlined by the religious 
agencies. A Student Volunteer Convention, 
however, came to that campus and brought in 
representatives of the Negro race 6 as regular 
members associating with the representatives 
of the white colleges — the first instance of its 
kind in the Southern States. Here was a real 
situation loaded with dynamite, or prophetic 

°See Christian Education, vol. x, p. 495. 



with hope for a Christian solution of the ques- 
tion. That college campus became a labora- 
tory in the race question for about a month. 
College classes, Sunday school classes, volun- 
tary discussion groups, chapel services, social 
club and class gatherings, Sunday-evening 
mass meetings, the student voluntary meetings 
of every character, including the so-called 
"bull sessions" in dormitory rooms or else- 
where about the campus, seethed with ani- 
mated discussion. A finer opportunity never 
challenged the students of any college to face 
a real issue of the Christian life. They faced 
it gallantly and with a reverent desire to know 
and to do the mind of Christ. Finally on a 
Sunday evening a mass meeting was held when 
the issue was presented from every standpoint. 
At the conclusion of that service the leader 
asked the students who had assembled if they 
had to face this experience again, would they 
be willing for these Negro delegates to come 
to their campus, and they voted unanimously 
that they would. Here was a vexing and ever- 
recurring Christian problem solved in a Chris- 
tian way because the program adopted by the 
religious agencies serving the religious life of 
the students, was flexible enough to adjust it- 
self to the consideration of a significant situ- 
ation which arose normally and naturally out 


of the experience of the students. Unless these 
agencies are alert to adjust themselves to such 
significant experimental situations, though 
they may be the best intentioned, they will 
oftentimes hinder rather than promote the 
spiritual life of those whom they would serve. 

4. Do these agencies construct their pro- 
grams in such a way as to make it easy for the 
students to control their responses to the life 
situations that arise in their normal experi- 
ences in the direction of a truly and vitally 
Christian outcome? This is a real test, but pub- 
lic services alone, however inspiring and pow- 
erful they may be, however well planned and 
orderly executed, cannot possibly supply the 
atmosphere, the incentive, the milieu that will 
be conducive to this sort of control. Projects 
must be undertaken, some of them individu- 
ally, some of them for groups, but all of them 
working together to provide a situation posi- 
tively helping a student to control his re- 
sponses in the direction of Christian outcomes 
for his conduct. Our reading projects, inves- 
tigation projects, public worship, discussion 
groups, the cultivation of aesthetic apprecia- 
tion, attendance on lectures, sermons, ad- 
dresses, and stories attuned to the highest 
ideals of life, excursions, engaging in service 
activities of various kinds — these are some of 


the central methods and approaches toward 
the creation of such an atmosphere. The pub- 
lic meetings provided in the programs of the 
religious agencies will, according to this plan, 
have bases of experience growing out of these 
projects which the students have engaged in 
and so they will not become just another as- 
sembly or an occasion that brings people to- 
gether, for a genuine forum for the exchange 
of experiences and th ; discovery of the Chris- 
tian viewpoint growing out of definite situa- 
tions. Through such an organized effort on 
the part of these religious agencies to enrich 
and control the experience of college students 
Christian character will arise as a beautiful 
by-product and the likelihood of Christian 
responses in future life situations will be 
guaranteed so far as possible. 

5. What is the outreach of these agencies? 
While it is entirely proper to insist that char- 
acter ripens as a consequence of definite life 
experiences, we cannot be satisfied to shut off 
college students from the programs of the 
Christian world as such. What is the atti- 
tude of these college programs toward mis- 
sions, toward race, toward international peace, 
toward Christian union, toward world broth- 
erhood, toward the problems of industry, 
toward the care of the aged and the infirm, 


toward general welfare work, local, national, 
world-wide? College students must face these 
issues, and definite situations must be created 
by the agencies that will make it inevitable 
that they shall face these problems and in 
practical ways solve them and lend them their 
support. It would be a calamity if the agen- 
cies responsible for the religious life and cul- 
ture of college students should circumscribe 
their activities by the boundaries of the cam- 
pus. The enthusiasm, the optimism, the bound- 
less energy of college youth yearn for an in- 
sight into the great problems of the world 
and to have a part in solving them. These 
agencies, therefore, must not be shortsighted 
or narrow-visioned, but broad and comprehen- 
sive in building their programs. 

6. What is the quality and the training of 
the employed leaders of these agencies? It is 
necessary that those who undertake to minis- 
ter in an official way to the moral and religious 
interests of students should have suffi- 
cient academic standing to merit the respect 
of the student mind, and also student leaders 
should be trained by these employed workers 
and in the special conferences that are so nu- 
merous now in different parts of the country, 
especially in the summer, for the training of 
leaders. We can never rise higher than our 


leadership, and unless our leadership is com- 
petent it cannot make any decided appeal to 
the student mind which is absolutely uncom- 
promising in its judgment in this matter. 

7. To what extent do the programs of these 
agencies provide for student initiative, par- 
ticipation, leadership and control? I have al- 
ready spoken of the difference between initia- 
tive and voluntarism. This is a matter of such 
importance, however, that it is necessary con- 
stantly to recur to it. The program of any 
organization should originate locally, should 
be initiated locally, and be locally determined. 
It is all right for general agencies to hand 
down programs, but they should be regarded 
as source material and utilized as suggestions 
only by the builders of local programs, and no 
criticism should be attached to local leaders if 
they fail to incorporate in their program the 
suggestions that are handed down to them 
from the general agencies. There has been se- 
rious injury done on more than one campus 
because this attitude was not tolerated by the 
traveling representative of some general 
agency. Students should not only initiate 
their programs but they should participate in 
them, and they should lead them. They should 
not, however, have complete control. Out- 
standing leaders in the local community, mem- 


bers of the faculty, and representatives of the 
general agencies should all have a share in 
the control, and likewise in the fixing of pro- 
grams, though this control should be exercised 
in the way of suggestion so as to bring the 
lesson of experience to bear upon the local 
situation. It is a most happy circumstance 
that student leaders always appreciate such 
joint control when it is given in the spirit of 
shared experience and not ex cathedra. 

8. Do the programs of these agencies reach 
the students in any considerable number and 
of varied interests? The agencies exist to 
serve the religious life of students, not the re- 
ligious life of a certain type of student, partic- 
ularly predisposed to be religious, so to speak, 
but the religious life of all students. We can- 
not conceive of religion in the modern world 
as confined to a certain caste or segment of 
life. We think of it as a universal, unifying 
and integrating humanitarian power, and that 
its ultimate objective should be the synthetiz- 
ing not only of the individual's life so that he 
becomes able to function as an integrated per- 
sonality, but also a synthetizing force for the 
entire social order so that men may live in so- 
cial solidarity and express in their conduct 
the brotherhood of man. We shall never be 
able to achieve the synthesis of individual and 


societal life by any sort of political or social 
mechanics. The only ultimately unifying 
force must take its origin in the spiritual na- 
ture of man which is the peculiar and pre- 
empted realm of religion. If the programs of 
these agencies reach only a limited portion of 
the student body, in view of the universal ap- 
peal of religion, then these programs should 
be radically reconstructed. There is no ques- 
tioning the deep and abiding concern of the 
student mind for ultimate values, and this is 
but another way of saying that they are vitally 
concerned in religion as to its teachings and 
as to its practice. If, therefore, the agencies 
that presume to minister to the religious life 
are not able to capitalize this spiritual interest 
and concern by present methods and programs, 
the sensible thing is not to criticize students as 
irreligious but to meet them on the basis of 
their experiences and inner longing for satis- 
faction with programs and methods that will 
enlist their hearty co-operation. 

9. Do these agencies increase or decrease 
the devotion of the students to whom they 
minister to Christ and to his program for life? 
They exist to promote his kingdom. In terms 
of his principles they should give meaning to 
life. In terms of his dynamic teachings they 
should supply motives for life. In terms of 


his solution of life's problems they should pro- 
vide standards of the highest values, and these 
standards should not be mere intellectual 
achievements but goads inciting to action. If 
these agencies are able to motivate and acti- 
vate the students to whom they minister so 
that they will become crusaders for the causes 
Jesus espoused and for the ideals he enunci- 
ated, then we may pronounce upon them our 
highest commendation. We do not mean by 
this that there is not to be the freest, fullest, 
and frankest discussion of the teachings of 
Jesus and of their meanings and applications 
involving the discovery of motives for life, 
but we do mean that these agencies are to be 
judged by the Christian outcomes of these in- 
vestigations and discussions. If students un- 
der the influence of these agencies and their 
programs became avowed atheists, or, what is 
still more deadly, practical atheists, in that 
they praise Jesus but do not embrace his pro- 
gram for life, then we must charge them with 
failure and must remove them as machinery 
that has served a useful purpose but now de- 
serves the junk heap. 

10. How do the results of the training given 
college students by these agencies of religious 
culture appear in the work years of those who 
have come under their influence? Are the 


alumni of the colleges in which they essay to 
minister interested in the moral and spiritual 
order of the universe? Do they support the 
church? Are they broad-vision ed and clear- 
eyed in sensing the spiritual, the Christian 
issues involved in the problems and conflicts 
of their life? Is it their major concern and 
aspiration to promote the kingdom of heaven 
in the earth and to implant the kingdom of 
God in men's hearts? Are they motivated and 
activated in their entire life attitudes by the 
highest values inherent in local situations as 
revealed in J esus Christ and as interpreted by 
the Holy Spirit? There are so many influ- 
ences that are brought to bear upon the lives 
of the alumni of colleges after they have passed 
out from the walls of their Alma Mater that 
it may seem rather unfair to hold the religious 
agencies of an institution responsible for what 
the alumni do in their after life. Is it not well 
known that there are enough real scholars in 
the Federal Prison at Atlanta, for example, to 
fill all the chairs of any great university? 
Nevertheless, if the religious agencies on a 
college campus do their work well, the fruits 
of their labor will appear in the lives and char- 
acters of the alumni. And while there will 
necessarily be some cases among the alumni 
of any college that will bring discredit upon 


the work of these religious agencies, just as 
Judas brought discredit upon the work of our 
Master, still, taken by and large, these agen- 
cies must be content to be judged by their 
fruits. They should mold a type, though 
granting the expectancy that there will be ab- 
errations from the type. The type itself, how- 
ever, should undoubtedly be such as to demon- 
strate the practical efficiency of these religious 
agencies in Christian character building. 

We should be willing to appraise these 
agencies in terms of these ten criteria. We 
should not only be willing to do so but we 
should actually undertake to do so, and then 
we should proceed with constructive methods 
designed to make of them what they purport 
to be — truly educational agencies in the realm 
of Christian character building. 




It is entirely true that any subject in the 
curriculum can be taught so as to lead to the 
highest values in any given situation, in such 
a way, in other words, as to yield Christian 
character as a by-product and to minister pos- 
itively to the fruition of the spiritual life. But 
while this is true, it is equally true that courses 
in Bible and Religious Education are pre- 
eminently suited to that purpose. It is cer- 
tainly gratifying, therefore, to note the recent 
growth in the time accorded these subjects in 
our colleges and in the number of students who 
elect them. The quality of the courses too is 
deserving of the highest commendation. In 
this chapter we shall study these matters dur- 
ing the past two decades. 


Growth of the Teaching of Bible in 

In 1916 a committee having as its chairman 
Dr. Calvin H. French, now president of 


Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska, in de- 
fining "The Efficient College" for the "Asso- 
ciation of American Colleges," two hundred 
and eighty years after liberal education saw 
its beginning in America in Harvard in colo- 
nial days, found place for only four year-hours 
of Bible and assigned this work with other 
subjects preferably to the professor of Latin. 
Presumably, the reason for assigning this 
work with other subjects, to include perhaps 
religious education, to the Latin professor was 
that Latin had shown a disposition to pass out 
of the college curriculum and Bible and Reli- 
gious Education were showing some disposi- 
tion to come in. 

In 1923 the National Council on Religion 
in Higher Education issued its Bulletin No. 
4, which was a study of "the undergraduate 
courses in religion at the tax-supported col- 
leges and universities of America" by Charles 
Foster Kent. This report showed the follow- 
ing facts for the year 1922-23 1 1 

Institu- Semester Hours Enroll- 

tions Offered merit 

54 State Universities and 

Women's Colleges 726.5 5,442 

74 State Teachers' Colleges. 127.5 2,235 

bulletin of the Association of American Colleges, vol. ii, 
p. 65. 



41 State Colleges of Agricul- 


8 Municipal Colleges 
14 Negro Colleges 

54.1 543 
17. 286 
6 . 6 Not given 





A study published by the National Council 
on Religion in Higher Education made by W. 
E. Uphaus and M. T. Hipps, 2 dealing with ma- 
terial collected for the year 1923-24, from 269 
denominational institutions, reveals that these 
institutions under the title of "Bible" offered 
semester hours amounting to 2,875 1-3 given 
in 914 courses and enrolling 40,434 students. 

Miss Lura Beam, 3 in March of 1925, in a 
study of 250 colleges finds 136,844 semester 
hours in religious instruction earned therein, 
and more than half of this instruction is 
earned in the general survey study of the 
Bible. These two surveys should be carefully 
investigated by the serious student. 

During the fall of 1927 I have made a study 
of 659 colleges and universities listed in the 
Educational Director]/: 1927, issued by the 
United States Department of the Interior, and 
have learned the following facts in regard to 

2 Bulletin of the National Council on Religion in Higher 
Education, No. VI. 

Christian Education, vol. viii, p. 211f. 



the teaching of Bible in these institutions 4 for 
the year 1926-27: 

One hundred and eighty-six of these insti- 
tutions maintain Departments of Bible, and 
204 of them offer instruction in Bible. This 
means that 18 institutions offer instruction 
in Bible in the Department of English or Phi- 
losophy or Language or History, but do not 
maintain as much as a full professor for the 

The 204 institutions that offer Bible in- 
struction to their students employ 417 profes- 
sors. Five years ago 169 institutions, in the 
same group, offered instruction in Bible and 
employed 257 professors. There has been a 
decrease in the number of teachers in one in- 
stance only in five years. 

Of the group of institutions studied, 186 of 
them offer 1,244 5-6 courses in Bible; 180 of 
them reported 3,754 1-3 semester hours' credit 
in Bible; and 169 of them reported an enroll- 
ment of 31,259 students in these courses. 

At present 96 of these institutions expend 
$484,653 on the teaching of Bible in sepa- 
rate departments and 55 of these institutions 

^Included in this study were two colleges not listed in the 
Directory: High Point College, High Point, North Carolina, 
and Adelbert College, Cleveland, Ohio. Adelbert College is 
the Men's College of Western Reserve, but reported sepa- 
rately in the survey. 



report an increase during the last five years 
in expenditures for teaching Bible in special 
departments of $119,639. In the same con- 
nection, 21 of these institutions report in per- 
centages and do not give facts. In this group 
the following increases are shown : One insti- 
tution 5 per cent ; one 20 per cent ; one 33 1-3 
per cent ; one 40 per cent ; seven 100 per cent ; 
one 200 per cent; one 256 per cent; one 300 
per cent, and one of 460 per cent. One insti- 
tution reports no increase. Another reports 
that its expenditure "has more than doubled" 
in the past five years. Only four institutions 
show a decrease in expenditures for teaching 
Bible during the past five years. Of these two 
specify no definite amount. One reports a de- 
crease of $464 and the fourth a decrease of 

Bible is also taught in 186 of these insti- 
tutions in connection with Religious Educa- 
tion. In respect of these institutions offering 
Bible work combined with Religious Educa- 
tion, we find the following : 205 of them ( which 
means that 19 offer Bible and Religious Edu- 
cation not in a special department for that 
purpose but in connection with other curric- 
ular subjects) employ 569 teachers; five years 
ago 169 of them employed 297 teachers; and 
in five years there has been only one instance 


of decrease in the number of teachers in such 

In these combined departments 191 institu- 
tions report 1,841 courses offered ; 186 of them 
report 5,159 1-3 semester hours credited ; and 
166 of them report 36,226 students enrolled. 
Of these institutions that offered Bible and 
Religious Education in the combined depart- 
ments, 87 report an increased expenditure for 
this purpose during the past five years of 
1268,492.46; and 123 of them report a total 
current expenditure for this purpose of $711,- 
615.79. In addition to this, we give specific 
statements in regard to their increases from 
fifteen others, speaking by percentages, or in 
other ways, as follows : Two report an increase 
of 20 per cent during the five years ; one of 25 
per cent; one of 331-3; one of 50 per cent; 
five of 100 per cent; one of 125 per cent; one 
of 400 per cent ; one reports that "it has more 
than doubled" its expenditure for this purpose 
during the past five years; one reports no in- 
crease; and only one reports a decrease and 
that in the amount of f 1,000. 

In connection with my study of the 659 col- 
leges and universities, I studied the 164 
Junior Colleges and the 99 four-year Teachers 
Colleges listed in the Educational Directory: 
1927, Responses were received from 63 Junior 


Colleges, no one of which had decreased the 
number of teachers, courses, semester hours 
offered, or appropriation for teaching Bible 
during the past five years. Thirty-five of these 
Junior Colleges now offer instruction in Bible, 
in 126 courses valued at 261 1-3 semester hours 
for 30 institutions, with an enrollment of 
1,898 students, with an increased operating 
cost of $17,825 in the eleven answering the 
question during the five-year period. Ten of 
these colleges now spend $39,400 annually for 
Bible instruction. Only one, however, offers 
a major of 30 semester hours, which seems 
rather large. If we regard twelve semester 
hours as normal for a Junior College in any 
subject, four of the thirty-five institutions re- 
porting may be said to offer Junior College 
majors or a Senior College minor. Five years 
ago 25 Junior Colleges in this group employed 
27 teachers of Bible, showing an increase of 
33 teachers and of ten institutions offering 
such instruction during the five-year period. 

This group of Junior Colleges contains 26 
institutions offering courses in Bible and Re- 
ligious Education in combined departments. 
These 26 colleges employ 49 teachers, offering 
86 separate courses, valued at 379 semester 
hours, and enrolling 2,451 students. These 
colleges have increased their appropriations 


for 15 institutions by $39,100 in the past five 
years. Eighteen of them now spend $66,750 
for instruction in their combined departments 
annually. There has been an increase of six 
institutions offering instruction in combined 
departments during the five-year period and 
of 19 teachers. Sixteen of them offer a Junior 
College Major of twelve semester hours or 
more in the combined subjects. 

Of the 99 four-year Teachers Colleges, re- 
sponses were received from 25, of which 18 
offer instruction in Bible, employing 21 teach- 
ers, who offer 48 separate courses, valued at 
111 1-2 semester hours, enrolling 1,336 stu- 
dents, showing an increased cost in one in- 
stance of $2,500, and an operating salary cost 
of $7,315 for 4 institutions, the others not re- 
plying to the request for budgetary informa- 
tion. Five years ago in this group only 7 in- 
stitutions offered Bible courses, employing 9 
teachers, an increase of 11 institutions and of 
12 teachers in the period. No one of these in- 
stitutions offers a major in Bible. 

This group of Teachers Colleges contains 6 
institutions offering courses in Bible and Re- 
ligious Education in combined departments. 
These 6 colleges employ in these combined de- 
partments 13 teachers, offering 39 courses, 
valued at 81 semester hours, enrolling 1,135 


students. Five years ago 5 colleges in this 
group employed 8 teachers, showing an in- 
crease of 1 institution and of 5 teachers in 
the period. Only 1 institution offers as much 
as a major of 30 semester hours in the com- 
bined subjects. 

There has evidently been growth in the 
teaching of Bible in these institutions since 
Doctor French denned "The Efficient College." 


Growth of the Teaching of Religious Edu- 
cation in Colleges 

In 1847 Horace Bushnell published the first 
book having to do with religious education in 
the modern sense of that term. His Christian 
Nurture was published in that year, being 
given its final form in 1860. It has recently 
been revised by Professor Luther A. Weigle, 
of Yale. Bushnell was a real prophet, and his 
book is a monument to his vision, foresight, 
and insight. This monumental work bore a 
becoming fruit in 1903 in the organization of 
"The Religious Education Association," which 
held its first meeting in Chicago February 
10-12 of that year. This Association has met 
annually since and has been a powerful agency 
in line with its objective as stated above. In 


1909 the first course in religious education 
ever given for college credit in any American 
institution of higher learning was offered by 
Dean Walter S. Athearn, now of Boston Uni- 
versity, but then professor in Drake Univer- 
sity. About the same time, Professor W. C. 
Bower, now of the University of Chicago, then 
of Transylvania College, began offering 
courses in Religious Education for undergrad- 
uate credit. Only so recently did this subject 
make its advent into the academic world. In 
1902-03, The Hartford School of Religious 
Education began offering courses in Religious 
Education for professional workers in the 
field of religious pedagogy, but this was not 
in an undergraduate college. 

The first serious and comprehensive survey 
of the teaching of religious education in the 
American colleges was reported by Dean 
Athearn 5 in October, 1915. His survey briefly 
summarized reveals the following facts: 71 
courses in religious education in 38 colleges 
valued at 217 1-3 semester hours taught by 40 
instructors, 6 of them only on full time. Only 
three institutions at that time offered majors 
in religious education. They were Eugene 
Bible University, of Oregon, offering a major 
of 14 semester hours; the University of Chi- 

6 Beligious Education, vol. x, p. 412f. 



cago, offering a major of 21 semester hours; 
and Drake University, offering a major of 24 
semester hours. In Dean Athearn's survey 
the term "religious education" was first de- 
fined as "the theory and practice of teaching 
religion." In this sense this term is used in 
this chapter. 

For the academic year 1923-24, Uphaus and 
Hipps discovered in their survey, referred to 
above, that 103 institutions offered 527 1-3 
semester hours in religious education, in 215 
different courses, enrolling 3,313 students. 

During the academic year 1926-27 graduate 
students in religious education in Teachers 
College, Columbia University, under the lead- 
ership of Dr. George Albert Coe, made a sur- 
vey of the teaching of religious education in 
the American colleges. This report 6 has now 
been printed by the Religious Education As- 
sociation. It reveals the following facts : 172 
institutions in 36 States offer 657 courses in 
religious education, taught by 207 professors, 
34 of whom give their entire time to teaching 
religious education, these courses being 
valued at 811 semester hours and enrolling 
10,839 students. 

*Under graduate Instruction in Religious Education in the 
United States. By Alderton and Others. The Religious 
Education Association (1928). 



During the fall of 1927 I have conducted a 
survey, as stated above, of 659 colleges listed 
in the Educational Directory: 1927. This sur- 
vey reveals the following facts : 69 institutions 
have separate departments of religious educa- 
tion. In these same institutions there are 61 
separate departments of Bible, so that there 
are only 8 institutions in the country that of- 
fer instruction in religious education without 
offering instruction in Bible. I have already 
stated the facts revealed in this survey in re- 
gard to institutions combining the teaching 
of Bible and Religious Education in a single 
department. Reference is made to these facts 
at this point. 

Of the colleges studied in the 1927 survey, 
72 now employ 141 teachers, whereas five years 
ago 35 employed 67 teachers. During the past 
five years only 1 institution has shown a de- 
crease in the number of teachers giving their 
entire time to Religious Education. 

Of the institutions studied, 65 report 429 
courses in Religious Education ; 61 value their 
courses in this subject at 1,113 2-3 and 58 re- 
port an enrollment of 8,108 in these courses. 

Financially, 37 institutions report that they 
are spending for the current year f 166,107.78 
for religious education in separate depart- 
ments. During the past five years 27 of these 


institutions report an increase of f 83,965 spent 
for this purpose. In addition, 6 institutions 
report increases in their budgets by percent- 
ages; 1 reports an increase of 45 per cent in 
five years ; 2 report an increase each of 50 per 
cent in five years; and 3 others, each, report 
an increase of 100 per cent in the five-year pe- 
riod. No institution of the group shows a de- 
crease in the appropriation for teaching re- 
ligious education in the five-year period. 

The 164 Junior Colleges and the 99 four- 
year Teachers Colleges were likewise included 
in my 1927 study of the growth of the teach- 
ing of religious education. Of the Junior Col- 
leges responding, 2 were found to have sepa- 
rate departments of Religious Education, em- 
ploying 2 teachers, offering 2 courses, valued 
at 5 semester hours, and enrolling 40 students. 
Five years ago one of these colleges had a sep- 
arate department of Religious Education and 
employed 1 teacher. 

Of the four-year Teachers Colleges only 1 
maintains a separate department of Religious 
Education, employing 1 teacher, offering 1 
course, valued at 3 semester hours, and en- 
rolling 65 students. Five years ago no col- 
lege in the group responding maintained a 
separate department of Religious Education. 

The facts relative to the teaching of reli- 


gious education in combined departments of 
Bible and Religions Education for colleges in 
both these groups have already been set forth 
above. Reference is made to these facts at 
this time. 

Manifestly, likewise there has been decided 
growth in the teaching of religious education 
in these institutions since the first survey in 


Summary of 1927 Survey 

The survey which I have made during the 
fall of 1927 reveals with reference to the 659 
colleges and universities, the 164 Junior Col- 
leges and the 99 four-year Teachers Colleges, 
a total in all of 922 institutions, the follow- 
ing combined facts: 

There were 239 institutions having separate 
departments of Bible; 72 institutions having 
separate departments of Religious Education, 
with 61 of the number also having separate 
departments of Bible; and 218 institutions 
having combined departments of Bible and 
Religious Education — a total of 468 separate 
institutions having departments of Bible, de- 
partments of Religious Education and depart- 
ments of Bible and Religious Education in 



Five hundred and sixty-nine of the 922 
studied report for the current year 1,273 pro- 
fessors for these types of work; and 446 of 
them report 884 such professors five years ago. 

Five hundred and thirty of these institu- 
tions report in these three fields of instruction 
3,816 5-6 courses offered ; 514 of them value 
their courses at 10,868 1-3 semester hours ; and 
464 of them report an enrollment for these 
types of work of 82,518. 

Financially speaking, during the past five 
years, 196 of these institutions giving definite 
figures reported an increased expenditure for 
the teaching of Bible, religious education, and 
various combinations of the two of $531,- 
521.46. For the current year 288 of these in- 
stitutions report a budget for this purpose of 

I have also discovered in the survey, from 
correspondence and from the reports of the 
National Council on Religion in Higher Edu- 
cation that every State university in America 
except the University of Louisiana has provi- 
sion for instruction in Bible or religious edu- 
cation, or both, either at public expense or as 
supported by voluntary agencies, and that 
many of them accredit this work toward their 
degrees. I have also discovered that of 450 
colleges answering the question, "In your 


judgment, could State institutions at public 
expense legally offer instruction in religious 
education, defined as 'the theory and practice 
of teaching religion 7 ?" 132 responded, Yes; 
97, No; 43, doubtful; and 181 in an evasive 

It seems safe to predict that instruction in 
Bible and Religious Education in these three 
types of institution will show a decided growth 
in the next decade. Particularly is there need 
of such growth in the four-year Teachers Col- 
leges. Strange it is that we have not sensed 
the strategic importance of these institutions 
producing so large a proportion of our teach- 
ers as training centers for religious leaders. 
There should be a department or chair of Reli- 
gious Education, conceived as "the theory and 
practice of teaching religion" and as "the 
process by which we learn how to live with 
and for each other and unto God" in each of 
these institutions, and it should be maintained 
at public expense. 

Of these institutions, majors of thirty sem- 
ester hours or more are offered in religious 
education in 17 instances; in Bible, in 33 in- 
stances; and in combined departments, in 60 
instances; and Junior College Majors of 12 
semester hours each in Bible, in 4 instances 
and in combined departments, in 16 instances. 


Content of Courses 

(a) Bible Courses 

A study of the Bible courses as listed in 
Bulletin No. 6 of the National Council on Re- 
ligion and Higher Education, according to 
Professor S. A. Bennett, of the Elon College 
faculty, will show a prevailing emphasis on 
the following five courses, each valued at six 
semester hours leading to a major in Bible : 

1. Introduction to the study of Bible — a 
comprehensive view of the origin, nature, and 
general meaning of the biblical material. 

2. The religious experience of Jesus and 
early Christianity. 

3. The religion of the Old Testament and 
later Judaism. 

4. The Bible in modern Christian life. 

5. The preaching and teaching values of the 

(b) Religious Education Courses 
1. The Coe Survey discovered 17 institu- 
tions offering majors in religious education. 
A study of the 287 separate courses offered by 
these 17 institutions, valued at 810 2-15 sem- 
ester hours, leads to the following major in 
religious education, arranged in sequence ac- 
cording to the earned semester hours quanti- 
tatively under each title: 



1. Organization and Administration of 

Religious Education 6 

2. Methods of Teaching Religion 3 

3. Psychology of Age Groups 3 

4. Principles of Religious Education 3 

5. Curriculum of Religious Education ... 3 

6. Observation, Practice Teaching and 

Supervision 3 

7. Psychology of Religion 3 

8. Worship 3 

9. History of Religious Education 3 

2. The Coe survey did not undertake to de- 
fine a major in religious education for under- 
graduates, but it did indicate five courses, 
based on a study of 127 institutions in 36 
States offering 656 courses weighted at 811 
semester hours and arranged in the following 
sequence : 

1. Principles of Religious Education. 

2. Organization and Administration of Reli- 
gious Education. 

3. Methods of Teaching Religion. 

4. The Religious Education of Children and 
Adolescents or The Psychology of Religion. 

5. The History of Religious Education. 

Weighting each of these courses at six sem- 
ester hours, we would have the major sug- 
gested above based on the general Coe survey 
and not on the 17 institutions alone that offer 



3. Temple University has announced a ma- 
jor in religious education for the current year 
consisting of the following items: 


Courses Hours 

1. Principles of Moral and Religious 

Education 2 

2. Introduction of Philosophy 2 

3. Curriculum of Religious Education. . 2 

4. A Religious Curriculum for the Ado- 

lescent 2 

5. The Organization and Administra- 

tion of Religious Education 2 

6. Surveys and Measurements in Reli- 

gious Education 4 

7. Administration and Supervision of 

Religious Education 2 

8. Foundations of Christian Relief. ... 3 

9. Principles, Methods and Programs 

of Christian Missions 4 

10. Church History 4 

11. Worship in the Church School 2 

12. Church Music 2 

Total 31 

4. Sixteen experts in religious education, 
including such well-known scholars as George 
Herbert Betts, W. C. Bower, Norman E. Rich- 
ardson, Harrison Elliott, Luther A. Weigle, 
and Walter S. Athearn, were asked through 
private correspondence to define a major in 
religious education conceived as "the theory 


and practice of teaching religion." All of 
these except Dr. Weigle and Dean Athearn 
gave answers in private letters, and these two 
referred to their opinions already expressed 
in Vol. X of Religious Education, page 346f. 
for Doctor Weigle and page 412f. for Dean 
Athearn. A study of these suggestions gives 
us a thirty-hour major as follows: 


1. History and Program of the Chris- 

tian Religion 6 

2. Psychology of Religion 5 

3. Methods of Teaching Religion 5 

4. Organization and Administration of 

Religious Education 3 

5. The Curriculum of Religious Educa- 

tion 3 

6. The Principles and Theory of Reli- 

gious Education 3 

7. Civilizations and Religions of the 

World 2 

8. Worship iy 2 

9. Observation, Practice Teaching and 

Supervision iy 2 

Total 30 

5. In 1921 The Religious Education Asso- 
ciation, The Council of Church Boards of 
Education, and The Sunday School Council 
of Evangelical Denominations defined a ma- 
jor in religious education as follows : 



1. Bible 6 

2. Teaching Values of Bible Material .... 3 

3. Curriculum 2 

4. The Christian Religion 3 

5. Educational Psychology 3 

6. Introduction to the Study of Religious 

Education 3 

7. Teaching the Christian Religion (with 

observation and practice) 4 

8. Organization and Administration 3 

9. History of Religious Education in 

America 3 

Total 30 

This major, however, does not separate the 
teaching of Bible from the teaching of reli- 
gious education and includes educational psy- 
chology, which, according to present day prac- 
tice, belongs in the Department of Education 
as such. 

6. The Disciples of Christ, who have always 
been ardent advocates of Bible in the colleges, 
and more recently of religious education too, 
at a recent meeting of their professors of re- 
ligious education, published the following rec- 
ommendations to their constituency: 

We recommend that the amount of work in reli- 
gious education for which credit toward the A.B. 
degree be given be either a synthetic major of 
approximately fifteen hours in methods courses 


and approximately nine hours in Bible or other 
related content courses; or a minor of approxi- 
mately fifteen hours in methods courses with pos- 
sibly a major in Bible. (This is not to be inter- 
preted as advocating any decrease in the amount 
of credit that is already being given in religious 
education or Bible and church history in any of 
the colleges of the brotherhood.) 

We recommend further the sympathetic co- 
operation of the instructors in religious education 
in all of the colleges of the brotherhood with the 
leadership training program of the Department 
of Religious Education of the United Christian 
Missionary Society and the International Council 
of Religious Education. And that whenever prac- 
ticable, instructors in religious education and 
allied courses in the colleges certify to the director 
of leadership training of the Department of Reli- 
gious Education of the United Christian Mission- 
ary Society the names of students who have com- 
pleted work in college courses for which interna- 
tional leadership training credits may be given. 1 

7. Elon College has defined a major in reli- 
gious education, weighting each course at six 
semester hours as follows : 

1. Leadership Training, based on the non- 
biblical topics of the Standard Leadership 
Training Course, and including in addition 
instruction in Missions, Stewardship, Chris- 
tian Endeavor, Recreation, Scouting and 
Camp Fire, with observation of the laboratory 
work in the Week-Day School of Religion. 

7 Bethmy Church School Guide, vol. i, No. 9, p. 287. 


2. The Organization, Administration, and 
Integration of Religious Education. 

3. The Curriculum and Teaching Methods 
in Religious Education. 

4. The History and Principles of Religious 

5. The Civilizations and Religions of the 
World, concluding with a study of the Psy- 
chology and Philosophy of Religion. 

Note: For those students who do not elect 
Course 3 — "The Curriculum and Teaching 
Methods in Religious Education," but who should 
prefer to specialize, three Specialization Courses 
as alternative to this course are offered as follows : 

1. The Children's Division Advanced Special- 
ization Course. 

2. The Young People's Division Advanced Spe- 
cialization Course. 

3. The Adult Division Advanced Specialization 

This arrangement offers the advantage of 
an option for the student between a general 
Curriculum and Teaching Methods Course or 
a Course covering the same items by Age 

For the courses numbered 3, 4, and 5 in the 
Elon major, laboratory work is required in the 
Week-Day School of Religion, and the pro- 
fessor is privileged, if he so desires, to excuse 
the class from one hour of recitation work per 


week in lieu of the laboratory work. In con- 
nection with the laboratory work, there are 
conference periods for each department which 
the student must attend in addition to per- 
forming the actual teaching service required 
in the Week-Day School of Religion. 

(c) Combination Courses 

Occasionally there will be a student who 
will wish to major both in Bible and Religious 
Education. More frequently there will be stu- 
dents who will wish to major in one and minor 
in the other. Most frequently, however, and 
speaking with particular reference to those 
who are preparing for the ministry or for the 
directorship of religious education in local 
churches, they will wish to pursue courses 
both in Bible and Religious Education and 
associate with these courses, under the advice 
of their advisers, allied courses in other de- 

At least one college has suggested a combi- 
nation course fitting those who pursue it for 
the directorship in religious education, this 
combination course to consist of ten 6-semes- 
ter hour courses each and distributed, 4 under 
Religious Education; 3 in Bible; one in Gen- 
eral Psychology ; one in Sociology, and one in 
Public School Music. 



This tendency to combine courses in some 
such manner as this and to associate with the 
Bible and Religious Education work courses 
in allied departments is general throughout 
the colleges, but it will become more so. 

If students desire to minor in Bible or ma- 
jor in religious education, or vice versa, they 
should, in each instance, pursue the thirty 
hours outlined in the major field, and the first 
twelve hours outlined in the minor field. 
The official advisers of students who are ma- 
joring in the general field of religion, should, 
in addition to arranging for major and minor 
in the respective departments, be alert also to 
suggest in the associated fields other courses 
particularly adapted to the purpose and life 
program of the individual student. More and 
more educators are coming to the point in 
their curricula planning where they are com- 
mitted to a field of related subjects individu- 
ally adapted to the student rather than to 
hard-and-fast requirements in particular 
courses. In other words, they are approach- 
ing the time when we shall have a curriculum 
that is experience-centered rather than 




Education was primary in the method of 
Jesus. The Gospels on every page attest his 
adherence to teaching. To his disciples he was 
the Master Teacher, and to-day he stands forth 
pre-eminently as the Teacher of mankind. In 
his approaches to life's problems through edu- 
cation, there was no "verboten" area. He en- 
tered every open door, and all the doors to 
life's duties and experiences were open to him. 
We should not close them nor close our eyes 
to their challenges to enter and explore. Ad- 
venture is written large over every door of 
life and experience for the Christian man, par- 
ticularly for the Christian man in college. 

No apology, therefore, is required for es- 
saying to discuss Christian Union from the 
standpoint of Christian education. It involves 
the very foundations of Christian character. 
For it is impossible to think of any truth, 
teaching, attitude, principle, or doctrine of 
the Christian faith in any other way than 
that of unity with reference to all other 
truths, teachings, attitudes, principles or doc- 


trines enunciated by Jesus. Our Master was 
a unified, consistent, integrated Personality, 
and consequently his every utterance, his 
every reaction necessarily expressed the unity 
of his character. His characteristic teaching 
of the brotherhood of man attests his adher- 
ence to the principle of unity in human rela- 
tionships. And his impassioned prayer for 
the unity of his followers attests his commit- 
ment to the principle of unity with reference 
to the persons and agencies which should carry 
on his work to the ultimate day of the conquest 
of the whole world. The deranged mind is a 
disorganized mind. It is a mind not unified 
nor integrated in its relationships and proce- 
dures. The Church of Jesus Christ is to-day J 
in a vital measure a deranged church. It 
works at cross purposes. It is not unified nor 
integrated in its attitudes and procedures. It 
is organizationally crazed, and needs some 
psychoanalyst to restore its mental balance. 
Rather, we should say, it needs to apply the 
diagnosis of Jesus Christ, its Founder, in pre- 
scribing for its mental and spiritual disorders. 
The only prescription which he offered for the 
cure of the church's unhappy situation is 
Christian Union. 

But obdurately the church offers substitutes 
for the prescription of the great spiritual 


Physician and is unwilling to follow his plain 
and unmistakable instructions. To all intents 
and purposes Jesus has been turned out of 
his own church, for his counsel has been re- 
jected, his counsel couched in prayer to our 
Father. We are deceiving ourselves when we 
sing, "We are not divided; all one body we." 
The church is suffering from a disunion com- 

It is no disparagement of the great and 
heartening achievements of Christianity to 
say that it has failed in its primary function, 
its central purpose. We appreciate the con- 
quests that the followers of Jesus have 
wrought in the liberation of childhood and of 
womanhood, in changing the attitude of the 
world toward prisoners, in the comfort they 
have brought the poor and suffering, in the 
contributions they have made to medical sci- 
ence and government and scholarship, in the 
uplift and inspiration they have brought to 
individual life, transforming little men into 
big ones, out of pygmies making giants, to the 
broken and bruised and degenerate bringing 
hope and confidence and renewal of life and 
purpose. We rejoice in the mighty works of the 
church in the realm of Christian missions, of 
Christian education, of social service, of stew- 
ardship, of relief and sustentation, and in the 


numerous other avenues of practical Christian 
service which the gospel has inspired men to 
adopt in the name and for the sake of Jesus. 
We not only appreciate and rejoice in these 
conquests and in these truly mighty works, 
but we are grateful for them. We must not, 
however, forget that great as these achieve- 
ments are, they are peripheral matters, and the 
scope of their influence is limited directly in 
proportion to their distance from the central 
issue of the Christian way. That central is- 
sue is the thing for which our Master prayed, 
the oneness of his followers. The unwilling- 
ness of the Christian world to make due and 
becoming response in their personal and offi- 
cial procedures to the prayer of their Master 
has hampered and thwarted and oftentimes 
nullified their otherwise splendid efforts to 
express in a practical way their adherence to 
and love for the Founder of their faith. John 
R. Mott was not overstating our situation 
when he said that "a pagan world is the price 
we pay for a divided Christendom." 

But there is no need, as we say, of crying 
over spilled milk. There is too much water in 
it already. It is our duty, as well as our priv- 
ilege, to face this prayer of our Lord as if it 
were given to us anew, as if it were an exhila- 
rating and inspiring new discovery in the spir- 


itual realm, and having accepted it as such to 
take toward it the attitude of the Christian 
educator. And when I say this, I do not 
mean to leave out of the educational program 
those who have come to maturity and to places 
of leadership and responsibility in the King- 
dom. I yield to no one in my appreciation of 
the splendid characteristics of college youth. 
These youth are very largely the hope of the 
future, but not entirely so. I believe that edu- 
cation is a continuing process, and that we 
have made a great blunder in presuming that 
after the twenty-fifth or thirtieth year, when 
formal education is supposed to be completed, 
the educational method becomes ineffective 
and unavailing in modifying the attitudes and 
ideals that govern adult life. I am glad 
of the present-day recognition of the necessity 
for the value of adult education. The hope 
that resides in the vigorous and energetic 
breast of our present-day college youth will, 
in the next generation, be ultra-conservative 
unless we find in the present adult generation 
persons in places of leadership and responsi- 
bility willing to be educated in the ideals, 
principles, and methods of Christian Union. 

I cannot conceive of education as other than 
unified and integrated with life. It certainly 
begins as early as the cradle, it ought not to 


terminate in this life before the grave; and I 
have a conception of the future life that in- 
spires me to look forward to it, because it 
promises opportunity for endless educational 
development. Christian education, therefore, 
should begin in the home and should have its 
place in every experience of life and of the 
world in which the individual lives and moves. 
It is not confined to formal instruction, though 
formal instruction is not to be depreciated as 
a very effective and conserving method of edu- 
cation. And when we speak of Christian Un- 
ion and Christian education, we mean to be 
understood as insisting that there should be 
an integration of these two ideas in every 
experience of life, and they should be thought 
of not as separate entities but as manifesta- 
tions of the great, all-inclusive principle of 
brotherhood which Jesus taught. 

While these things are true, for our partic- 
ular purpose at this time, we will direct our 
thoughts to formal instruction in the agencies 
that promise most for Christian education and 
shall endeavor to suggest practical methods 
for exemplifying the spirit of Christian unity 
in the methods and programs of these agen- 
cies. We are committed in America to the 
educational method. We believe in our 
schools, and we believe in them so passionately 


that we invest in them some 12,000,000,000 
each year. We place a higher value upon them 
than we do upon religion, because we spent 
upon religion and its institutions only $489,- 
429,078.4s 1 for benevolences and congregation- 
al expenses during the year 1927. And we are 
not without reason for our devotion to edu- 
cation. The most hopeful avenue of approach 
to any reform is to teach it in the schools. A 
little more than a generation ago now we be- 
gan teaching in our public schools the hurtful 
effects of alcoholic beverages, and in our local 
church schools we added to this teaching of 
the public schools the deleterious effect of al- 
coholic drinks upon the character of those 
who were addicted to them. As a consequence, 
the Eighteenth Amendment has been written 
into our Constitution. The educational meth- 
od works in other lands as well as in our own. 
A generation ago the militarists of Germany 
began to indoctrinate the children of that 
peace-loving land with the idea of Pan-Ger- 
manism, and with this the further thought of 
hatred for other people. The consequence of 
this teaching was the World War with all its 
bloodshed and slaughter and its burden of debt 
for generations yet unborn. 

Compiled for the United Stewardship Council, Harry S. 
Myers, secretary, 276 Fifth Avenue, New York City. 



Realizing the importance of education in 
the achievements of Christian Union, the In- 
ternational Lesson Committee was, in 1923, 
memorialized to provide one lesson a quarter, 
or at least one lesson a year in its various 
types of lessons for local church schools, bear- 
ing on the central theme of the Christian pro- 
gram, the theme of Christian Union. This 
suggestion was looked upon with favor by the 
International Lesson Committee, and we may 
hopefully expect that when new series of les- 
sons are issued, the idea of Christian Union 
will be incorporated therein. 2 We shall find a 
great impetus in the direction of fellowship 
and of a growing sentiment for Christian Un- 
ion, I am sure, in consequence of the inclusion 
of the idea of Christian Union in the lessons 
adopted for study in our local church schools. 
All denominations should use these lessons. 

In these local church schools, particularly, 
in the Young People's and Adult Departments, 
there is a growing tendency to devote a quar- 
ter's study to particular themes and phases. 
We need textbooks adapted to the several ages 
and departments, containing suitable teach- 
ing units, setting forth ideals, principles, and 

2 So the author is informed by Mr. Hermon Eldredge, mem- 
ber of the International Lesson Committee. The reorganiza- 
tion of the committee may delay this and other similar 
projects, Mr. Eldredge has recently said. 



specific projects, together with practical 
methods and suggestions for Christian Union. 
These special courses should be looked upon 
as supplementary to the regular instruction 
in Christian Union, which we hope will be- 
come a part of the regular teaching units in 
these schools, and based on experience. 

The editors of church-school literature in 
their treatment of all teaching units should 
keep constantly in mind the central idea of 
Christian Union, and in their illustrations 
and teaching points and applications of the 
various courses should be alert for opportu- 
nities to emphasize Christian Union as basic 
in the attitude of the individual Christian and 
of the organized church. This will be found 
wonderfully efficacious in directing the mind 
and heart and conscience of the whole church 
in its educational life to the issue that lies 
near to our hearts and, undoubtedly, near to 
the heart of Jesus himself. Our church schools 
will thus happily become prophetic centers. 

With reference to our institutions of higher 
learning, we have another splendid opportu- 
nity to present the ideals and claims of Chris- 
tian Union. Young people, we have said, go 
to college to-day for vocational purposes, for 
general cultural purposes, and for the forma- 
tion of social contacts which will be helpful 


in future life. But there is nothing in this 
situation which precludes the possibility of 
motivating the throngs of forward-looking 
young people who are resorting to-day to our 
colleges and universities. They may not come 
to college with the thought of having their 
lives motivated and their heart's devotions 
directed in the interests of the kingdom of 
God, but it is certainly the privilege of the 
administrators of these institutions and of 
their faculties to incorporate in their organi- 
zation, their courses of study, and their va- 
rious ministries to life this most worthy ob- 
jective, and certainly among the primal inter- 
ests of the kingdom of Jesus Christ in terms 
of which they will desire to motivate the lives 
and purposes of our college youth, we would 
place the idea of Christian Union. Our col- 
lege youth are interested in co-operative meth- 
ods for the Christian religion. We know this 
on general principles, and we know it directly 
from the student gatherings which have been 
held in recent years, and particularly from 
that gathering which two years ago voted to 
take practical steps to bring together the va- 
rious young people's societies of the several 
denominations. They have not been able to 
do it, and are not likely to be able to do it be- 
cause the leadership of the churches has set 


its face against such union. 3 But the fact 
that the students were willing to unite these 
organizations is encouragement for those of 
us who believe in providing a place for the 
teaching of Christian Union to our college and 
university youth. They are for it and offer 
us a hopeful approach to the problem. 

In our institutions of higher learning — and 
I am thinking when I say this not only of 
the church colleges but also of our State and 
privately endowed institutions — it seems to me 
that we have three particular avenues of ap- 
proach. It is true that a church college ought 
to be thoroughly open-minded toward the in- 
corporation in its program of all three of these 
hopeful measures. I say it ought to be be- 
cause the denominational college is supposed 
to exist for the purpose of making the mind of 
Christ effective in its own organization and 
in the lives of the students, and to mediating 
that mind to all who come under its influence, 
but, as a matter of fact, the denominational 
colleges, for the most part, exist for a much 
narrower purpose than this. Regrettably a 
not insignificant number of them exist to 
keep alive in their own organization and in 
the minds and hearts of those who come under 

8 Recently there has been a more encouraging attitude 
toward this matter, for which we rejoice. 



their influence the very things that divide the 
Christian world into sectarian groups. I am 
afraid that some of the administrators of these 
institutions will look askance at any sugges- 
tion for teaching Christian Union on the 
ground that it may destroy the loyalty of their 
constituency for the support of their particu- 
lar institution. I hope that we may enlist such 
denominational colleges in a program of edu- 
cation in Christian Union. In them, we have 
a splendid missionary field for the cause of 
Christian Union. Let us convert them. Let 
us transform them from mere denominational 
colleges into Christian colleges, which they 
can readily become if they embrace the pro- 
gram of Christian Union and make it out- 
standing in their curriculum. 

In the Departments of Bible and Religious 
Education in State institutions of higher 
learning and in the foundations maintained 
on interdenominational or independent bases 
in connection with many of these institutions, 
we have a fine method of approach to the stu- 
dent mind in these institutions. We should 
do everything that we can to encourage them 
to incorporate the idea of Christian Union in 
their curriculum. 

We should likewise enlist the privately en- 
dowed institutions in our cause. Some of them 


have had painful experiences in the past be- 
cause of their connection with certain denom- 
inations, and they have won their independ- 
ence and freedom only after excruciating 
conflicts. They are, however, hopeful cen- 
ters of influence for the idea of Christian Un- 
ion, not on a basis of faith and order, but on 
a basis of life and work. 

In our institutions of higher learning the 
first method of approach which offers itself 
to us hopefully is found in courses of study 
either on a credit or on a voluntary basis, pref- 
erably on a credit basis. These courses of 
study should be broad and appreciative of the 
whole idea of Christian Union. They should 
be biblical, and they should take practical is- 
sue in administrative proposals for embodying 
the idea of Christian Union in organized form. 

A second avenue of approach for institu- 
tions of higher learning is offered to us in the 
form of addresses, open forums, and group 
discussions. The college newspapers too and 
magazines which reflect the student opinions 
and the opinions of the alumni, should not be 
neglected in our effort to influence the mind 
and thought of the student world favorably 
with reference to Christian Union. 

But our most hopeful method of approach 
in these institutions, after all, will be found 


in definite projects embodying the principles, 
the teachings, and the practices of Christian 
Union. To begin with, the various religious 
agencies that offer to minister to the spiritual 
life of students should be united in order that 
a unified impact may be made for religion on 
the mind and heart of students. We find this 
very effectively done already, as we have seen, 
at the University of Pennsylvania and at Cor- 
nell University and at the college with which 
I am connected. These projects in the unifica- 
tion of religious agencies on our college cam- 
puses should become much more extensive 
throughout the country. Students appreciate 
the elimination of competition between agen- 
cies, the removal of the duplication of effort, 
the consequent saving of money and of energy, 
and likewise the relatively greater ease of se- 
curing competent leadership which such uni- 
fication of agencies affords. 

The students in our institutions of higher 
learning should be organized so that they will 
not only serve their own spiritual interests, 
but that they should likewise be servants of 
the religious life of others in a united way. 
They should support missionary efforts 
throughout the world. They should be good 
citizens in the college community, and they 
should do deputation work within a suitable 


radius of the college. All of this work should 
be undertaken on a united basis of integrated 
effort. The local churches surrounding the 
college campuses and the various agencies 
that aspire to assist students in their spiritual 
life should not be permitted by programs 
handed down from central bureaus to interfere 
with this united effort of student bodies to ex- 
press their spiritual attitudes in unified pro- 
grams of Christian effort. All suggestions 
from denominational headquarters and from 
central bureaus of whatsoever character for 
the conduct of the religious life of students 
should be considered as source material only, 
and those who are responsible for the fash- 
ioning of programs for the proper expression 
of the Christian life on individual campuses 
should take these source materials as sugges- 
tions only, and should build their particular 
programs in the light of these materials and 
of their own experience, and particularly with 
reference to the spiritual needs and objectives 
of their local situation in each instance. 

I make bold to suggest another and a specific 
project embodying a hopeful attitude of ap- 
proach to this problem in institutions of high- 
er learning. I make bold to suggest the or- 
ganization on every college campus of a college 
church not affiliated with any denomination, 


but owing its allegiance to Jesus Christ and 
devoted to the interests of his kingdom. I 
make bold to suggest that every person of 
whatever name or order who has professed or 
who would profess the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, whether he be faculty member or stu- 
dent, should be eligible to membership in this 
church, and that this church should be a local 
self-governing body and consider itself an ex- 
periment station for working out the great 
ideas and teachings and principles of the 
Kingdom in terms of a practical Christian 
unity. The members of this church should 
hold membership in other churches, if they 
so desire, but their membership in those other 
churches of a denominational character should 
not in any way limit or define their rights, 
privileges, duties, or undertakings in the Cam- 
pus Christian Unity Church. We have begin- 
nings of this suggestion already in a great 
People's Church in connection with the Mich- 
igan State College, East Lansing, Michigan; 
at the Iowa State Teachers' College, Cedar 
Falls, Iowa ; at the Community House in con- 
nection with the Connecticut Agricultural Col- 
lege at Storrs, Connecticut ; at Wesleyan Uni- 
versity, Middletown, Connecticut; and in the 
School of Religion recently begun at the Uni- 
versity of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. There are 


no doubt numerous other places where a sim- 
ilar idea is germinating, if it has not already- 
burst into organized life. We should encour- 
age all such projects as hopeful enterprises 
for effective experimentation in the realm of 
Christian Union. Such Campus Christian 
Unity Churches will be mighty fortresses of 
Christian Union and will be found to make 
a tremendous contribution for ultimate suc- 
cess for the cause of Christian Union, and their 
momentum will increase with their successful 
operation and the multiplication of their kind. 
Students, too, need the experience of joining 
a church in their college days. 

I have one other suggestion. If adopted, 
it would strike a death blow to sectarianism 
in the American church. I make bold to sug- 
gest that theological seminaries should be un- 
ionized. We need a drastic reorganization of 
theological seminaries comparable to the reor- 
ganization of medical colleges following the 
trenchant study of those colleges by the Car- 
negie Foundation nearly a generation ago. 
Such a "scientific and scholarly study of the 
theological seminaries with recommendations 
for standards on a unified basis would do very 
much to bring the ministry of the Christian 
Church back to the place of leadership it 
used to enjoy in the confidence of the American 


people, and which it ought to enjoy as being 
intrusted with the spiritual leadership of the 
nation. We have the beginning of such a study- 
in Robert L. Kelly's Theological Education in 
America* a book that ought to have led to the 
reconstruction of our methods of educating 
ministers and which has exerted a fine influ- 
ence in toning up many seminaries, but which 
does not approach the problem of theological 
education from the sound standpoint from 
which it should be approached, it seems to me, 
the basis of Christian Union. It is no criti- 
cism of Doctor Kelly's monumental work that 
it was not fashioned on this basis. But I 
should rejoice greatly in heart if measures 
should be instituted that will eventually lead 
to such a scholarly and scientific study of the 
seminaries as has been suggested. I am con- 
vinced if such a study is made and laid before 
the Christian world with definite recommen- 
dations, that eventually, it may be more than 
one hundred years, yet eventually we will find 
theological education reconstructing its pro- 
gram and eliminating its sectarianism just as 
the medical schools of the country have scien- 
tifically reconstructed themselves since the 
famous Carnegie report. But in order for this 
program to be effective there must be financial 

8 Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. (1924). 


backing for the foundation, support, and main- 
tenance of such seminaries, just as there has 
been financial support for the medical schools. 

Meantime we should encourage the minis- 
ters of the future to resort to the interdenomi- 
national and privately endowed seminaries al- 
ready in existence, and we should encourage 
these seminaries to incorporate in their cur- 
ricula definite and positive teaching with ref- 
erence to the ideals, principles, and methods 
of Christian Union. We should also encourage 
denominational seminaries progressively to 
interdenominationalize themselves by placing 
on their faculties professors from other com- 
munions. Theological education does not need 
to be "hot-housed." God's truth is not afraid 
of the open. It thrives better there. There is, 
therefore, no good reason for denominational 
theological seminaries. They do not even 
have the excuse for existence which the de- 
nominational colleges have, that their prime 
purpose is to ferret out and motivate lead- 
ers for pulpit and pew. Persons who go to 
seminaries are already ferreted out and moti- 
vated. They expect to give themselves to a 
profession, the profession of the ministry, and 
there is no competition with "godless" state 
institutions, so-called. There is no more rea- 
son for Methodist or Presbyterian or Baptist 


or Lutheran theological seminaries than there 
is for Methodist or Presbyterian or Baptist 
or Lutheran law schools, or medical schools. 
A statesmanlike approach to the professional 
training of ministers would certainly lead to 
the unionization of the seminaries, and such 
a policy would greatly enhance the character 
of our ministry and of our laity alike. More 
strong men would enter the ministry undoubt- 

"First the blade, then the ear, and then the 
full corn in the ear" — words, these, of the 
greatest Educator in the annals of human his- 
tory, words that embody the slow, stately, but 
steadfast and sure methods of Christian edu- 
cation. The hope of Christian Union is in 
Christian education, just as the hope of the 
Christian Church is in the practice of Chris- 
tian Union. 




The thoughts suggested in this chapter are 
applicable especially to church colleges. This 
leads us to say at the very outset that the 
church colleges must exalt religion in their 
entire organization, curriculum, and program. 
The church colleges must undertake to do all 
that any other type of institution of higher 
learning may legally undertake, and at the 
same time must go beyond and make religion 
and the teaching of religion the primary, the 
permeative, the integrating, the unifying force 
of all their life and program. 

Denominational colleges are fast realizing 
that they cannot justify their existence unless 
they do more for the religious and spiritual 
culture of their students than independent and 
tax-supported institutions. 

The next step for the church colleges in re- 
spect of religious education is threefold in its 

I. The Curriculum 
The church college cannot be satisfied with 


merely providing a religious atmosphere for 
instruction in what, for the lack of a better 
term, we may be permitted to designate as 
the secular branches. These branches must 
be taught in these church colleges and the at- 
mosphere in which they are taught must be 
religious, particularly Christian teachers 
must also be employed as faculty members; 
but this does not meet the full obligation that 
rests upon the curriculum of such a college. 
Its curriculum must include specific instruc- 
tion in Bible and Religious Education, so that 
the church may have trained leaders for its 
pulpits and for its pews. We have seen that 
it is increasingly doing this. The leaders 
trained in these church colleges must know 
religion as experience and be able to interpret 
experience in spiritual terms. They must 
know religion as a working tool, and they 
must also know it as an enrichment of civili- 
zation and life, past and present. And they 
should be endowed with and versed in the 
rare art of quickening into life in their pupils 
this trinity of religious insights and abilities. 
Religion must be thought of in our church 
colleges as a quality of every course in the cur- 
riculum and not as a quantity of information 
to be transmitted. The alumnus of the church 
college should be imbued in and activated 


throughout by emotionalized, rationalized, 
volitionalized Christian attitudes. 

The Council of Church Boards of Educa- 
tion, the Religious Education Association, and 
the Sunday School Council of Evangelical De- 
nominations (now happily merged with the 
International Sunday Schools Association to 
form the International Council of Religious 
Education), as we have seen, in 1921 defined 
a major in religious education. There has 
been marvelous progress in religious educa- 
tion since that time, and there is a growing 
sentiment for a redefinition now, using the 
experience of the intervening years as labor- 
atory aid in arriving at a more satisfactory 
basis and content. Before this can be done 
successfully, however, there must be an exam- 
ination of the courses now offered in church 
colleges and an evaluation of them in terms 
of scope and objective. And also the experi- 
ence of the learner must be utilized in dis- 
covering the interest areas and teaching 
units for the organization of these courses 
into a major. There is a growing feel- 
ing on the part of workers in the field of 
religious education that the colleges of the 
church should incorporate in their courses of 
study the topics of the Standard Leadership 
Training Courses of the International Coun- 


cil as the basis of an introductory course in 
religious education. A great many students 
do not go beyond the Freshman year in col- 
lege. They should have the opportunity of- 
fered them of taking a course using as a basis 
the Standard Leadership Training Course in 
the Freshman year in Bible and Religious Ed- 
ucation. This would make it possible for any 
student who shall elect Bible and Religious 
Education in his Freshman year to receive the 
Standard Leadership Training Diploma at the 
end of the year. This would qualify these stu- 
dents to do efficient and effective work in their 
local churches, and, if they should return to 
college for further study, they would be in po- 
sition to go forward in preparation for the pas- 
torate or for the local directorship of religious 
education. It should be said, however, that 
the course in religious education for Fresh- 
men should go beyond the Standard Leader- 
ship Training Course requirements and in- 
clude instruction in young people's society 
work, Scouting, Camp Fire, missions, and all 
the elements of an integrated leadership train- 
ing curriculum. If not taken in freshman year, 
this course should be elective in other years. 

The curriculum of the church college should 
in other words offer a dual opportunity to its 
students : the opportunity to secure a Stand- 


ard Leadership Training Diploma at the end 
of the Freshman year, certainly at the end 
of the Sophomore year, and the opportunity 
to prepare for pastoral or professional work in 
religious education, should the college course 
be completed. Colleges must increasingly be- 
come pre-vocational and pre-professional. 

The local church schools should be inti- 
mately related to the church colleges; that is 
to say, the local church schools should regard 
themselves as the source of supply for the 
church colleges and should wisely direct the 
attention of the young people to the colleges 
of the church, but they should do more than 
this. They should be encouraged by the church 
Boards of Education to offer preparatory 
work qualifying these young people when they 
are through with high school and ready for 
college to be able to undertake successfully 
courses in Bible and Religious Education in 
the Freshman year. The International Coun- 
cil is now experimenting with courses in Lead- 
ership Training for pupils of high-school age. 
The local church schools should incorporate 
these units in their courses of study as elec- 
tives for their Senior and Young People's De- 
partments. In this way we will fit students 
for the study of Bible and Religious Educa- 
tion in the Freshman year of the colleges. 


II. Laboratory Facilities 
The church colleges cannot content them- 
selves in the future with courses of instruc- 
tion in Bible and Religious Education as fully 
meeting their obligation for training leaders 
for the church and Kingdom. If it is neces- 
sary to have laboratory facilities in chemistry 
and other natural sciences, in domestic sci- 
ence and art, in psychology, and in the field 
of general education, it is likewise necessary 
to have similar facilities in the field of reli- 
gious education. So the day is dawning, is 
already here, when the denominational colleges 
will call upon their constituencies to provide 
them ample facilities for laboratory work in 
religious education. This work should begin 
with the Junior year, provided that, in the 
Freshman and Sophomore years, Bible and 
Religious Education were elected and pur- 
sued to the extent that the Standard Teacher 
Training Diploma was earned. Those who in 
their Junior year, after this preliminary prep- 
aration, elect to go further in the study of 
religious education should be required to do 
laboratory work in a Week-Day School of 
Religion maintained in a properly equipped 
building for that purpose, and this building 
should not only be on the campus, but central 
in its life. The pioneer building of this type 


was erected at Elon College in 1923. This 
book is dedicated to its donors. 

The professors of religious education should 
be the divisional superintendents and the de- 
partmental principals of this Week-Day School 
of Religion, and the children of the college 
community should be offered competent reli- 
gious instruction under careful supervision 
through this laboratory work in religious ed- 
ucation. Arrangements will have to be made 
with the public schools for the release of pu- 
pils during public-school time in order to have 
the best results from such laboratory work; 
but if this cannot be done, the pupils can be 
secured in out-of-school hours and with 
fairly satisfactory results. Experience shows, 
however, that public-school officials nearly 
always are glad to co-operate with colleges in 
this religious work. Experience also shows 
that public-school pupils are deeply interested 
in such religious work and that they attend 
public school on the days that religious in- 
struction is to be received more regularly than 
on the other days. Of course a high standard 
of work must be insisted on and the equipment 
of the religious-education laboratory should 
be modern and suited not only for instruction, 
technically so-called, but also for expressional 
work on the part of the pupils. Manual train- 


ing for the boys and manual arts for the girls 
from the Juniors on will be found especially 
helpful. A two-hour session is very desirable. 

III. Vocational Guidance 
The third item in the next step for the col- 
leges in religious education is found in the 
realm of vocational guidance. The approach 
here must be different from that of the pro- 
fessional visitant to the college campus. Eep- 
resentatives of big business and of other spe- 
cial fields of life service have been accustomed 
for years to visit college campuses and to con- 
fer with the most promising students with the 
purpose in mind to convince them that they 
should enter upon some particular vocation, 
for which the respective visitor is sponsor. 

This method has small place, if any, on the 
campus of a church college. In such an insti- 
tution vocational guidance should rather take 
the form of discovering the aptitude and life 
purpose of each particular student and then 
of aiding that student in selecting courses of 
study preparing him for the particular calling 
for which his aptitude and his disposition to 
serve especially qualify him. 

Vocational guidance in such colleges can- 
not be safely separated from educational 
guidance nor from religious motivation. The 


work in the department of Bible and Religious 
Education must be integrated with the voca- 
tional guidance of students in church colleges. 
Religion is the integrating force, the unifying 
influence for all the interests, purposes, and 
ideals of life. We can never be sure that we 
have chosen the right field for our life service 
until we have considered our decision in terms 
of the Christian ideals and purposes. Conse- 
quently, it will be disastrous for church col- 
leges if they should leave the matter of voca- 
tional guidance of their students to outside 
agencies, or if they should unfortunately sepa- 
rate their institutional efforts along this line 
from their work in Bible and Religious Edu- 

We have in our church colleges too often 
been content to bring in outside speakers to 
boost some particular vocation and then to 
leave the matter of choosing their life-work 
to the students in the quiet of prayer and 
the searching of their hearts. We have some- 
times gone beyond this and arranged for inter- 
views of students with presidents, deans, col- 
lege pastors, or faculty advisers busy in other 
things, in what we have been pleased to call 
"heart-to-heart talks." We should go further 
than this and put this matter of vocational 
guidance on a "head-to-head" basis. The se- 


lection of a life-work should not be made on 
the strength of an emotional appeal, but, 
rather, on reasoned consideration of a stu- 
dent's innate ability and his personal taste as 
indicated by his character traits, but there 
must also be included in this "head-to-head" 
approach to this problem the synthesizing force 
of religion, which includes the time-honored 
"heart-to-heart" element. Both emotion and 
intellect should influence the will's decision in 
this most important step. 

There is no doubt that Thomas A. Edison is 
right in his prophetic view as to the future. 
He is quoted as saying that the nineteenth 
century was concerned with material, mechan- 
ical, and natural forces, but that the present 
century must give itself to the consideration 
and development of the human factors of civili- 
zation. Vocational guidance, therefore, must 
loom up large upon the horizon in the days 
ahead of us, and those church colleges will be 
wise in their day which incorporate in their 
programs definite facilities for aiding their 
students in the choice of a proper life-work 
under the uplifting and inspiring influences 
of religion. Nor can Christian colleges be sat- 
isfied merely to motivate those whose voca- 
tional choices they shall be instrumental in 
guiding in such a way that they shall live as 


Christians in their callings or businesses. 
Rather must these colleges send these young 
crusaders forth into life inspired with the de- 
termination to make whatever vocation they 
shall enter itself completely Christian in its 
aims, methods, products, and consequences. 
So again it is evident that vocational guidance 
cannot be safely separated from religion, nor 
performed hopefully by those unversed in re- 
ligious technique and experience. 

There will be required for the proper con- 
duct of this vocational guidance work regular 
orientation courses in each year of the college 
curriculum, not necessarily separate and dis- 
tinct from courses now offered, but with a new 
emphasis. In the Freshman year the survey 
courses in Bible offered in such colleges 
would appear to be suitable for this purpose. 
In the Sophomore year the foundational course 
in general psychology offers a rare opportunity 
to orientate the mind in the modern world. 
Sociology with special reference to the so- 
cietal and institutional cleavages of our day 
offers a real orientation opportunity for the 
Juniors. Seniors should approach the prob- 
lem from the standpoint of the philosophy of 
religion. Here a double course may be of- 
fered — one from the standpoint of the Bible 
and another from that of religious education. 


It is doubtful if these should be required 
courses beyond the Freshman year, though the 
advisers should encourage their election. 
Whittier College, at Whittier, California, of- 
fers such a course distinct and separate and 
required in each year, with the following em- 
phases: Freshman, institutional; Sophomore, 
psychological ; Junior, sociological, and Senior, 
philosophical. The college Sunday school, of 
course, and daily chapel and Sunday preach- 
ing services with lectures by faculty and in- 
vited leaders of modern thought and Christian 
attitude, should be made to serve these same 

From the standpoint of organization 1 there 
will be required a dean of personnel, a clinical 
psychologist, and an expert in vocational 
guidance. These officers should offer courses 
in the college in the departments of Bible, Re- 
ligious Education, Social Science, and Philos- 
ophy and should work in co-operation with the 
entire staff, but particularly the registrar, the 
deans, the president, the college health offi- 
cers, and the faculty and student advisers 
where such persons are employed. 

^ee Doermann's The Orientation of College Freshmen, 
The Williams and Wilkins Company (1926), pp. 119-125. 




We are told that the creeds upon which 
men have staked their hopes of eternal salva- 
tion are crumbling. The philosophies which 
have supplied the intellectual background and 
stabilization for these creeds are being dis- 
credited. Men's attitudes on the fundamental 
issues of life, its origin and foundations, are 
altering. Change is characteristic of the 
times. In the realm of material things men 
welcome change as desirable, as wholesome, 
as evidence of progress. And there likewise 
be those in the realm of social and spiritual 
experience who rejoice in jthis crumbling of 
creeds, this failing of philosophies, this alter- 
ing of attitudes. They herald these metamor- 
phoses as arising out of the progressive reve- 
lation of the will, mind, and purpose of God 
for the world. 

On the other hand, there is a group who 
are deeply troubled over what they regard 
as the apostasy of the human heart. They 
welcome progress in material things, but they 
resent change in the social and spiritual 
order. There is nothing certain, they assert, 


except change — change for the worse, degen- 
eration in the most sacred principles by which 
men have lived. The future for them is dark 
with spiritual calamity. 

This difference of interpretation is not pe- 
culiarly symptomatic of the twentieth cen- 
tury. It is characteristic of every Christian 
century. Before the advent of Christ into 
the world, progress in material things too was 
under the ban, and he who was sufficiently 
self-assertive in any realm of life or experi- 
ence before the Christian era to undertake to 
introduce an innovation was branded as a 
heretic and pilloried by his fellows. With 
the beginning of the Christian era the spirit 
of progress entered into the purview of men's 
life. The Central Figure in the Christian 
revelation had declared that the Holy Spirit 
should lead men into all truth. This was the 
magna charta of human progress, but, strange 
to say, so conservative has been the attitude 
of men in spiritual matters that they have 
limited the race's progress for the most part 
to material things. We have reached the 
point now in the development of the human 
race where we welcome discoveries and ven- 
tures in the realm of material things, where 
we, all of us, welcome them; but it is true of 
us as of the prophets of Israel that one gen- 


eration stones spiritual progressives while 
their children erect monuments to signalize 
the lack of vision and appreciation of their 
fathers. The spiritual prophet in many 
places is to-day, as in every day, anathema- 
tized during the days of his earthly pilgrim- 
age only to be apotheosized by succeeding gen- 

We hear much criticism to-day of institu- 
tions of higher learning on the ground that 
they teach an unwarranted liberty of con- 
science in respect to the religious and spirit- 
ual life. There is the demand that even the 
denominational Christian colleges should be 
subjected to rigid tests to determine their or- 
thodoxy and Jto root out from these institu- 
tions "tainted" instructors. Those who advo- 
cate this procedure are evidently not sure of 
the tenets and teachings which they profess 
to regard as having divine sanction. They do 
not have confidence in truth to withstand the 
onslaughts of error. They conceive truth to 
be something to be protected, whereas truth 
is something *to be discovered, appropriated, 
and enjoyed forever. They are greatly 
troubled in heart over the seeming conflict be- 
tween science and religion and forget that the 
only real test of truth is the pragmatic one 
enunciated by the Master Teacher when he 


said of men and of institutions that by their 
fruits they should be known. Religion has 
nothing to fear from science or from any other 
source. That is, true religion has nothing to 
fear because true religion, like true science, is 
founded upon the same ultimate truth in the 
discovery of which the human race has been 
engaged under divine guidance from the be- 
ginning of its experience. 

We should, therefore, rejoice in the crumb- 
ling of creeds, the failing of philosophies, the 
altering of attitudes until the day of the ulti- 
mate discovery of truth has arrived in the 
experience of men. We should be friendly to 
new concepts and we should be willing to try 
all spirits to discover whether they be of God. 
We should be convinced in our own minds 
that spiritual victory must ultimately crown 
the banner of the human race in its age-long 
endeavor to discover and understand God. 
We should also be convinced in our minds that 
the human race is ultimately to be redeemed 
from its errors and brought to a state of per- 
fection. God is not to be rejected from the 
hearts of men. He is ultimately to permeate 
every heart and every institution of life with 
his presence and his redeeming grace. We 
must believe this, or we must accept the oppo- 
site teaching, that God is not great and good 


enough to succeed in the spiritual adventure 
he has set before himself in relation to the 
human race. God is not destined to defeat 
in the world that he has made and no denun- 
ciation of humanity, however eloquent and 
scathing, can convince the heart that safely 
trusts in him that Jesus was a Utopian 
dreamer when he commanded the multitudes 
upon whom he looked, "Be ye therefore per- 
fect, even as your Father which is in heaven 
is perfect." We know that we are far from 
perfect, and so we should welcome change 
in the direction of a growing perfection. 

It is the primary business of colleges to alter 
the attitudes of growing persons. The tens 
of thousands of graduates who will emerge 
from the American colleges at each com- 
mencement season are not the same persons 
who four years before were Freshmen in these 
same institutions. Changes have been 
wrought in their attitudes, changes with 
respect to the three fundamental relation- 
ships of life, changes as respects their atti- 
tudes toward men, toward God, and toward 
the organized institutions of the social order. 
These graduates will never be able to accept 
the situations in which they found themselves 
four years before as ultimately satisfying. 
They have seen visions and dreamed dreams 


of progressive development. They have be- 
come idealists as they have examined the fun- 
damental concepts in terms of which our 
social relations are organized. They will go 
forth from their college halls imbued with 
new concepts and will crusade for the reforms 
and changes they are convinced are necessary 
for the enlargement and the improvement of 
our life. They will endeavor to translate 
ideals into realities. 

As has already been suggested, our life is 
made up ultimately and essentially of its re- 
lationships. Einstein has announced a theory 
of relativity for the physical universe, but 
those who have thought deeply on the problems 
of human life have always known that rela- 
tivity summates the interests and the hopes 
of humanity. There are three major fields 
of human relationship — our relationships to 
institutional organizations, our relationships 
to our fellow men, and our relationships to 
God. An examination even cursory will con- 
vince the investigator that there have been 
changes in men's conceptions of these rela- 
tionships and that these changes have been 
progressive, desirable, wholesome, and satis- 
fyingly good. 

I. Institutions 
Men's relationships as respects the institu- 


tional organizations of life are briefly compre- 
hended under six categories: the home, the 
school, industry, government, leisure, and the 
church. There is not a single one of these 
relationships which has not undergone pro- 
gressive transformation, and this transforma- 
tion has been particularly pronounced since 
the beginning of the Christian era. In the 
beginning the home included all the functions 
that are now operative in the other five insti- 
tutional relations of life. In the home began 
education, work, play, government, and reli- 
gion. It briefly epitomized all the relations 
of life. The head of the family was teacher, 
labor boss, play supervisor, political sov- 
ereign, and religious priest. His will was 
final. The members of the family enjoyed 
such rights and privileges as he accorded 
them.' No man was privileged to interfere 
with the prerogative of the head of the fam- 
ily in exercising his powers, and we have com- 
ing down to us from that day a proverb to 
the effect that a man's home is his castle. 

One by one the school, the workshop, play 
activities, government, and religion have won 
their independence of the home, only them- 
selves to be transformed in the light of the en- 
larging experiences of the human race as to 
what is good, wholesome, and desirable for the 


life of man. No man to-day undertakes to exer- 
cise autocratic authority in the home. His wife 
has ceased to be his personal property. She 
has become his equal socially and before the 
law. He cannot discard her according to his 
fleeting fancy and he cannot even maintain 
a rough house unless his neighbors consent 
to it. His children too have rights which he 
must respect. He must not put them to labor 
at too tender an age. He must send them to 
school and he must treat them kindly and 
considerately. They are no longer his beasts 
of burden for economic profit. If he fails in 
any way to measure up to the ideals of his 
neighbors in his relation to his children, he 
will find himself in the toils of the law. We 
find people lamenting the decay of the home's 
authority. They forget that many of the 
things which we cherish most in our relation- 
ships to-day between father and child, be- 
tween husband and wife, have come out of the 
so-called decay of the authority of the home. 
It has been transformed and changed for the 

An examination of the school, of industry, 
of our leisure life, of government, and of the 
church will reveal a similar and parallel 
transformation. Education, for example, was 
for many years looked upon as a discipline 


to which the mind of growing persons should 
be subjected. Education was something pos- 
sessed by the teacher to be passed over through 
the alchemy of instruction into the mind of 
the learner. If the mind of the learner re- 
sisted the benign impartation of this magic 
lore, the pedagogue was privileged to quicken 
it into response through the application of 
a peach-tree limb, but to-day educators dep- 
recate such a procedure. They assert that 
learning takes place only when the mind of 
the pupil is active and that interest should 
be capitalized as the friend of learning. 
School-teachers may no longer flog learning 
into their pupils. The lecture system has 
been discredited. The textbook method is 
being very much discredited. The problem- 
project method, based on life situations, ideal 
or actual, involving the active participation 
of the mind of the learner, dignifies the school- 
room to-day and makes it the seminary, or, 
better still, the arena of real living. 

Industry too is no longer regarded merely 
as a means of supplying the physical satis- 
factions of life, but as an organized method by 
which men may give expression to their de- 
sire to serve their fellow men. Many capital- 
ists and many labor leaders have not caught 
this vision of the place of industry in life and 


so we have warfare between capital and labor. 
Eventually we shall have peace, because the 
interests of both capital and labor are the 
same when industry is properly conceived as 
an organized effort by which capital and labor 
may express their desire for the service of 
humanity. There is nothing selfish in this 
ultimate view of industry, but, on the other 
hand, there is everything that is ennobling 
and inspiring. 

The leisure which our modern civilization 
provides for men is a challenge which, if met 
at all, has not been met with the best success. 
The militaristic leaders of pre-war Germany 
were opposed to shortening the hours of labor. 
They feared that the unoccupied individual 
would bring about a dangerous situation. The 
time should come, however, in the progressive 
march of invention and the conservation of 
human energy through temperance, when it 
will be unnecessary for the human race to 
labor long hours in order to produce the con- 
veniences and the comforts that minister help- 
fully to human living. Leisure will increase 
for men, and the use that men shall make of 
this free time is to be an engrossing problem 
of the future. It will offer the human race 
its finest opportunity for progress and devel- 
opment or it will become its greatest menace 


if improperly used. It is my thought that 
leisure offers us the opportunity for those 
personal, social, and spiritual ministries 
which are so necessary to the completest liv- 
ing, and here's hoping that wisdom may be 
given men in instituting helpful and upbuild- 
ing methods of utilizing their leisure time. 

Government was originally despotic. Rulers 
thought it unnecessary to secure the consent 
of the governed for the measures they pro- 
posed, but the appreciation for individual men 
which the great Nazarene taught, through 
slow-culminating processes, made necessary 
the appearance of democracy as the proper 
political organization; and Thomas Jefferson 
as spokesman for the American people in 1776 
was able to carry conviction to the hearts of 
men in the Declaration of Independence when 
he penned that immortal line, "All govern- 
ments derive their just powers from the con- 
sent of the governed." We have not yet fully 
comprehended the implications of the Jeffer- 
sonian democracy, but we are beginning to do 
so and the day is coming not only when war 
shall cease, but when nations will conceive 
their highest function to be in the realm of 
human welfare, when they will become actu- 
ally the servants of the life of people and 
not rulers over them. 



One hesitates to speak about the church, 
but it too has undergone a wholesome trans- 
formation during the nearly two thousand 
years of its organized life. We cannot forget 
the thousand years of darkness which settled 
down upon the human race when the church 
autocratically undertook to control govern- 
ment and business and home life and the 
thoughts that men should think and to pre- 
scribe for them, under pain of excommunica- 
tion, the methods by which they should order 
their life in even its minutest detail. The 
church became the oppressor of the life of 
men. It tyrannized over their liberties. Free- 
dom became a mockery. Then it was that 
Martin Luther led the revolt that has given 
us a divided Christendom. We cannot hu- 
manly see how it could have been otherwise, 
but we now recognize the sin of our divisions 
and are devoting ourselves earnestly and 
prayerfully to the effort to answer the prayer 
of our Lord for the oneness of his followers. 
We recognize the church to-day as the servant 
of the life of men and not as its overlord. 
Much as we love the church, much as we are 
devoted to it, we cannot but see that it too 
has been transformed and that the transfor- 
mation has been good for the development and 
the enlargement of the life of men. 



II. Man 

It is a long story to describe the transfor- 
mation that has taken place in man's rela- 
tionships to man. Every transformation 
which has touched this fundamental concept 
of our life's relationships has expressed itself 
likewise in the institutions and organizations 
that minister to man's life. Herein is a fruit- 
ful field of study with much profit and under- 
standing of human progress. For our pur- 
pose at this time it is only necessary to say 
that in the beginning man conceived of his 
relationship to his brother man in terms of 
vengeance. If his brother man had done him 
an injury, it was his privilege to do him a 
greater injury. Those were terrible days for 
humanity, and in that era of beastly struggle 
the wonder is that human life was able to sur- 
vive at all. Later we find the lawgiver with 
his demand for justice in social relationships ; 
and then as the heart of man was touched by 
human weakness and frailty there arose the 
prophet with his plea for mercy as temper- 
ing justice. Finally there appeared the Mas- 
ter Teacher, the Godlike Christ, who taught 
love as the fulfillment of the ideals of men's 
relationships to one another, love grounded 
in forgiveness and expressing itself in sacri- 
fice. It was not enough for him to forgive a 


man once, or even seven times, but an un- 
limited number of times. It was not enough 
for him to do unto others as he would that 
they should do unto him, nor to love one's 
neighbor as oneself. He could be satisfied 
only through the complete giving and sacrifice 
of himself in love for his fellows. That is the 
hopeful, prophetic transformation in social 
relationship toward which the human race 
must ever look with wistful expectation, and 
in the realization of that ideal the kingdom 
of God will have become real and actual in 
the world. 

III. God 

Men's conception of God has conditioned 
their concept of man and expressed itself in 
the institutions and civilizations of life. The 
most determinative force in individual and 
in social living is the view that men enter- 
tain as to God. When men conceived of him 
as bent on vengeance, they themselves prac- 
ticed vengeance with reference to one another, 
and the institutions of their life were organ- 
ized in the same terms. When they later con- 
ceived of him as just and impartial, they 
themselves desired to be just to one another, 
and their institutions reflected that aspira- 
tion. When they later conceived of him as 
merciful, they themselves became charitable 


and brotherly in their attitudes toward one 
another and expressed this brotherliness and 
fraternal spirit in the organized institutions 
of their life. In our day when men conceive 
of God as Christlike, as loving in his attitudes 
toward his spiritual offspring, as anxiously 
concerned for the growth and development 
and happiness of their life, we find ourselves 
anxious likewise to express this same affec- 
tion in our relationships with our brother 
men and to organize it into the institutions 
that minister to our life. We cannot conceive 
that there should be any finer revelation of 
God than that which we have in Jesus Christ, 
but we do recognize that the Holy Spirit is 
able to interpret to us in a larger way from 
day to day the meaning, the inner meaning of 
this concept of God; and we believe too that 
the Holy Spirit is leading us constantly into 
more becoming applications of this concept 
of life as expressed by God's attitude toward 
men in our personal and institutional life. 

In Conclusion 

It is his attitude toward life and its prob- 
lems that really determines the quality of a 
man's achievement. The outcome in practical 
living is the direct consequence of attitudes 
functioning as motives in the individual's 


creed or philosophy of life. The altering of 
life's attitudes through the educational pro- 
cess is the crowning glory of our educational 
system. Only as these altered attitudes be- 
come our motivating ideals in practical ex- 
perience can we hope to see the looked-for 
progress of the human race in the realization 
of its noblest and most cherished aspirations. 

We have made marvelous progress as a race 
in life's relationships, but our highest hopes 
are yet unrealized. They are in the realm of 
the ideal. Through altered attitudes we are 
privileged to make new conquests in the actu- 
alization of these ideals. One of these days 
the human race will have in its experience 
arrived at that ideal situation in which these 
relationships as expressed in institutions, in 
human fellowship, and in spiritual aspiration 
will be amply realized in a perfect world, a 
world which men now call idealistically the 
kingdom of God, in the individual's heart and 
the kingdom of heaven in the realm of social 
institutions and of civilization. 




Philosophers and theologians through the 
centuries have speculated and rendered deci- 
sions as to what constitutes the essence of 
life, the abiding values of living. The first 
answer and a most persistent was given by 
the Epicureans or Hedonists, who taught that 
life consists in happiness. Another answer 
was set forth by the Stoics, who contended 
that the satisfying life consists in superiority 
over the world and its vicissitudes of fortune 
— a sort of calm and independent indifference 
this to circumstances and surroundings. There 
have been other answers too, but the best and 
most convincing was given by Jesus when he 
outlined the purpose for which he came into 
the world — that men might have life and that 
they might have it more abundantly. To be 
convinced of the worth-whileness of his mis- 
sion one has only to lift the curtain of the ages 
and look upon the social order in Palestine in 
the first Christian century and contrast it with 
the life of the common people of the world to- 
day. The Prophet of Nazareth has made good 
in bringing the joys and satisfactions of the 


abundant life to the world's populace, and he 
introduced at the same time the spirit of hope- 
fulness and progress in the world when he 
assured men that this abundant life is to be 
ever more abundant, and sent them upon a 
quest for truth as a means of achieving it. 

In the instance discussed in the twelfth 
chapter of Luke, in which a man in the crowd 
where he was preaching interrupted and de- 
sired that Jesus would confer with his brother 
and induce him to divide the inheritance with 
him, we are brought face to face in negative 
fashion with one of the most trenchant utter- 
ances of the great Teacher. J esus says plainly 
to this man that he has the wrong slant on 
life, and that he must revise his whole out- 
look and cease to believe that a man's life con- 
sists in the abundance of the things which he 
possesses. He then tells the crowd that 
thronged his presence that wonderful story of 
the farmer whose fields yielded an enormous 
crop and who decided that he would wreck 
his barns and in their place construct larger 
ones in which to store all his increase, and 
then spend the remainder of his life in taking 
his ease, eating, drinking, and merry-making. 
God pronounced this man a fool, according to 
the parable, and then Jesus turns to the man 
who wanted his brother to divide up and says : 


"So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, 
and is not rich toward God." 

Materialism has wrecked its hosts in indi- 
vidual life. It has broken the bonds of kin- 
ship and sundered the ties of family and of 
blood. It has undone every civilization that 
has flourished and ceased to be. As we look 
back over the annals of departed nations, we 
are able to see that the germs of decay and de- 
struction were operative in the undermining 
of individual and social character in the days 
of their greatest material prosperity. Every 
nation which has fastened its eyes and cen- 
tered its heart's affections and bestowed its 
energies upon material things as the ultimate 
goal and purpose of personal and societal 
achievement has had its life eaten out by the 
canker of its very materialistic success. When 
we consider that the wealth of the United 
States now equals the wealth of the eight next 
richest modern nations, that our national 
wealth is f400,000,000,000, that our national 
income is $80,000,000,000 annually, and that 
we save about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of it 
for investment, investing $2,000,000,000 of it 
abroad each year, we may comprehend what a 
threatening situation our country faces, and 
particularly is this true when we become 
aware that 216 individuals have an annual in- 


come of f 390,000,000. We have prospered to 
untold degree. The wealth of our nation is 
prodigious, incomprehensible, and our national 
income is causing it to mount higher and high- 
er with each succeeding year. In a time like 
this there is need for the American people to 
understand what the abundance of life con- 
sists in, and particularly is it desirable that 
our youth should face this issue and dispas- 
sionately evaluate the abiding excellencies of 

We have spoken of the answers which philos- 
ophers and theologians have given as to what 
constitutes the real substance of this business 
of living. We shall now approach the issue 
from the standpoint of Christian practice. 
Here likewise we find various answers to the 
question. A large and influential group of 
sincere Christians have said in effect, if not in 
language, that a man's life consists in the 
abundance of the things he believes. There is 
no doubt that faith fills a large place in the 
Christian experience. The great Paul said 
that Christian faith is the real substance of 
the objectives for which we hope in Christian 
living, and, further, that it is the proof to the 
believer that the things he aspires to achieve 
will ultimately be realized. We should not, 
therefore, under any circumstances depreciate 


or undervalue faith as a fundamental factor 
in Christian character. The saints, the proph- 
ets, the reformers, the progressives of the 
Kingdom have always exhibited a splendid 
faith, a faith that comprehended in its grasp 
their own personalities, their fellow men, and 
God. We may well, therefore, emulate those 
who teach that life consists in the wealth of 
its beliefs and we should be anxious to include 
in our own attitudes this essential quality of 
the Christian way. Christian faith is making 
Jesus' view of God life's hypothesis. 

However, faith is not the all-inclusive abun- 
dance of the Christian life. Even in Paul's 
day there was dissatisfaction with the ten- 
dency to make it the whole of the Christian 
obligation; and James, reputed to be the 
brother of Jesus, protests against this view 
in no uncertain terms. James insists that he 
will show his faith by his works. He is in his 
contention the stalwart representative of a 
vigorous group of Christian believers. These 
energetic persons think that life consists in 
the abundance of the things which a man does. 
Unfortunately, in some instances, those who 
have believed in works as evidence of the 
Christian life have not been able to appreciate 
those who have believed in faith as its founda- 
tional principle, and, contrariwise, it is diffi- 


cult for the man of devout and trustful faith 
to comprehend the busy and aggressive activ- 
ity of the man whose spiritual convictions 
must seek an outlet in reformative service. 
The truth of the matter is found in neither 
view taken separately and alone. The truth 
of the situation is found in a synthesis of faith 
and deeds. We should trust God as if it all 
depends on him, and then work as if it all de- 
pends on us. There is no question that Chris- 
tian faith should properly express itself in 
Christian conduct. It is inevitable that such 
a dynamic faith as Christianity is, should bear 
fruit in the life of those who have embraced 
it. Its Founder said that his followers would 
be known by their fruits, that there would be 
evidence in their daily living and attitudes of 
that change of heart which had been wrought 
within by the sincere and ardent embracing 
of his teachings. 

We speak in these days of Christian civili- 
zation. This is as it should be, but we are far 
from having yet achieved a social order that 
may be properly characterized as Christian. 
The realization of such a civilization is the 
goal of the Christian life on earth, is what 
Jesus himself described as heaven on earth, 
as the kingdom of heaven in contradistinction 
from the kingdom of God, and the realization 


of this spiritual kingdom can only be achieved 
by the welding together in happy wedlock of 
Paul's principle of faith and James' principle 
of works, the welding of these two principles 
into an indissoluble union, "one and insepara- 
ble, now and forever." The social gospel is 
personal faith expressed in co-operative effort 
to redeem the world and its institutions, and 
to render them truly Christian in outlook and 
influence. This is what we mean when we 
speak of a college as Christian. We do not 
mean a "goody-goody" place where prayers are 
said and converts are wont to be made — though 
both will be done there — but primarily a place 
whose very atmosphere is tense with the spirit 
of the social gospel, a place where young men 
and young women become motivated in terms 
of Christian idealism and go forth into the 
world activated to serve as Christians in what- 
ever vocation they may choose. We mean 
even more than this — we mean that such a 
college will send forth as its fruits men and 
women who will make any calling they 
may select itself Christian, or who will 
find another avenue of expressing their Chris- 
tian good will for the world. When an insti- 
tution does this, it is the embodiment of the 
social gospel, is contributing its part to make 
our civilization Christian, and may itself be 


properly designated as a Christian college. 
This is a severe test, but none too severe. 

A third answer has been given to our quest, 
and in appreciation of this answer we have 
constructed in America a public-school system 
for the education of the people that costs us 
annually two billions of dollars and, in addi- 
tion to this, we have constructed a system of 
higher education in which we invest annually 
some five hundred million more. Universal 
education has become the passion of the Amer- 
ican people, and back of this passion lies a 
philosophy. This philosophy says that a 
man's life consists in the abundance of the 
things he knows. In response to this national 
educational creed we have witnessed the con- 
stant enrichment of the curriculum of our ele- 
mentary and secondary schools. More sub- 
jects are taught in these schools to-day than 
were offered in our best colleges a century ago. 
A corresponding expansion has been witnessed 
in our system of higher education until to-day 
there is no subject which may not be found 
listed in the curricula of the universities 
that are the crown and the glory of a great 
people's devotion to learning and of their con- 
fidence in its adequacy. In order to increase 
the fund of human knowledge great scholars 
bury themselves in research and rejoice to 


have lived in the service of truth if they may 
have been able to add even a small iota to 
the sum total of the things we know. We do 
not know it all yet. There are air pockets, 
so to speak, in the mental realm as well as 
in the path of the aviator. There are great 
oceans and trackless forests of truth that must 
be explored and charted. The scholars of the 
world are devoting themselves to the perform- 
ance of this duty, and to them it is a sacred 
duty. We are amazed sometimes at the pro- 
nouncements that come to us as a result of 
the discoveries which these patient investiga- 
tors have made. When the scientists, for ex- 
ample, tell us that there is enough energy in 
a piece of radium the size of a pin point to lift 
a hundred million tons to the top of the high- 
est mountain in the world, we are amazed, and 
have a right to be. The universe is fearfully 
and wonderfully and powerfully made. Our 
scholars are aiding us to understand it. 

Our young people are resorting to college 
as never before in the world's history. There 
has never been anything comparable to the in- 
flux of American youth to our colleges and uni- 
versities. About three hundred thousand 
Freshmen will enter our various institutions 
of higher learning this year. The total en- 
rollment for 1928-29 in these institutions will 


be beyond three quarters of a million. Eight 
times as many attend college in America as 
in England. Some people have concluded 
that too many of our youth are attending col- 
lege. Ben D. Wood, of Columbia, thinks 15 
per cent of our high-school graduates is the 
limit. That will depend upon the purpose 
which, has influenced the individual student in 
his decision to enter college. We are told 
again and again that young people go to col- 
lege because of its social embellishments; be- 
cause of their interest in the college activities 
of the literary or athletic type ; because it will 
enable them to make more money; because it 
will enable them to render larger service to 
the world. When Woodrow Wilson was presi- 
dent of Princeton he said, as we have seen, 
that the college sideshows had become of so 
much more importance than the main tent 
that it was hardly worth while any longer to 
teach. Others have shared his view. Is col- 
lege to be a crusade or is it to be a circus? 
The individual student must answer, but, in 
the answering, the whole purpose of life is in- 
volved. The college offers the forward-looking 
youth of the land the choice opportunity of 
acquiring knowledge and of amassing infor- 
mation which will be useful to him in making 
his contribution to the world. College days 


should be a genuine crusade in the discovery 
of truth, but the experience may be debauched 
into a circus, to the hurt of the individual and 
of the institution which he attends. 

Another group insists that life consists in 
the abundance of the things which a man 
thinks. They are not satisfied with making a 
man a catalogue of events, nor a two-legged 
encyclopedia. They believe that thinking 
should characterize the human leader. They 
frown upon knowledge as such. They scorn 
the energy and enthusiasm of the man who 
believes in doing things. Their view is that 
the world is to be forwarded by its thinkers. 
They quote Scripture too in support of their 
opinion. Did not Paul command that we 
should think on certain qualities of life, and 
does not the sacred Book say elsewhere that 
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he"? 
Surely we appreciate the thinker and acknowl- 
edge our debt of gratitude to him. We are 
so busy, however, in doing things and acquir- 
ing information that, in the large, we lack 
time for meditation and thought. By diligent 
study we consume, as it were, large quantities 
of intellectual nutriment, but it is only when 
we think that we digest it. The thinker is 
inclined to believe that the man who is con- 
tent with the acquisition of knowledge is af- 


flicted with mental indigestion. We need op- 
portunity in our college days not merely to 
study and to acquire information and facts, 
but to think them through calmly. The wise 
man makes it a rule to have a time for medi- 
tation and reverie each day. Such a practice 
will pay a handsome dividend in fruitful liv- 
ing. Don't be afraid to daydream. 

Others are of the opinion that the abun- 
dance of a man's life consists in the things 
he understands. They are not satisfied with 
knowledge, nor yet again with thinking. They 
aspire to wisdom, to comprehension of the in- 
ner meaning of things, to the understanding 
heart. They admit that through diligent 
study we may acquire vast funds of informa- 
tion and mentally consume them. They also 
freely admit that through meditation and 
thought we may digest the facts and the 
knowledge we have consumed, but they are 
equally insistent that the mental process is 
not complete until this consumed and digested 
intellectual nutriment has been assimilated, 
organized, integrated by the individual mental 
personality, so that it becomes his very own 
by a process which we may describe as mental 
metabolism. Wisdom to them is the principal 
thing and their insistent injunction is "There- 
fore, get wisdom." The ability to sit in judg- 


ment on the facts that one has amassed and 
upon the meditations of one's own heart, to 
unify and integrate these so that the indi- 
vidual goes forth as master of all that he sur- 
veys — that is the goal and the aspiration of 
those who insist that the ability to understand 
things is a basic foundation of the abundant 

There is still another group who look upon 
life as an aspiring adventure. They fasten 
their eyes upon the future in terms of a grow- 
ing and developing life. They are charmed 
with the inspiration of the things that are to 
be, and they insist that a man's life consists 
in the abundance of the things he hopes for. 
Does a man hope only for food to satisfy his 
physical appetite? Put him down in the class 
of the wild animals and the beasts. Or if he 
is somewhat socialized in his quest for the sat- 
isfaction of his physical wants, but longing 
only for satisfaction in that realm, put him in 
the class of the domesticated animals. Does 
a man hope to achieve a brilliant career for 
himself, trampling over the broken and bruised 
forms of his fellows in his upward climb? 
Then mark him down as a savage. No matter 
how many fine clothes he may wear, nor how 
many of the conventionalities of civilization 
he may have acquired, essentially such a man 


is a savage. Does a man hope for the abun- 
dant life for himself and for all the other crea- 
tures whom God has made? Does he hope that 
the weak will become strong; the poor, rich; 
the bond, free; the blind, possessed of sight; 
the lame, made able to walk; the hungry, 
clothed and fed; the ignorant, wise; the de- 
praved, pure; the disconsolate, cheered by the 
good news of the gospel? If he hopes for these 
things and is determined to do full duty for 
their realization, mark him up not merely as 
a civilized and enlightened man, but also mark 
him up as a Christian. The things we hope 
for are a determining factor in our individual 
life. The things a nation centers its aspira- 
tions on, likewise determine the national char- 
acter. Our fate, our future, is briefly compre- 
hended in the hopes that stir our hearts and 
animate our endeavors. 

There is a final group about which I wish 
to speak. They do not undervalue faith or 
deeds or knowledge or thought or wisdom or 
hope, as representing each a basic concept in 
the constitution of the abundant life, they, 
rather, accept all six of these answers as con- 
taining a vital principle for the successful and 
satisfying ordering of life, but they are not 
satisfied with any one of them nor all of them 
in combination. They insist that the abun- 


dance of a man's life consists not only in what 
he believes, in what he does, in what he knows, 
in what he thinks, in what he understands, and 
in what he hopes for, great and good as all 
these are. They insist that a man's life con- 
sists in the abundance of the things he loves. 
The interests included in the heart's affec- 
tions determine the magnitude of our soul's 
growth. A man is, they say, the sum total of 
the things he loves. God loves the world. And 
they would join with Paul in praise of this 
principle of love as the integrating and the 
seasoning quality of life, lacking which life 
is a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. They 
would plead for a love that suffers long and 
is kind ; that envies not ; that vaunts not itself, 
and is not puffed up ; that does not behave it- 
self unseemly, that seeks not its own, that is 
not easily provoked, that thinks no evil — for a 
love that rejoices not in iniquity but in the 
truth ; that bears all things, believes all things, 
hopes all things, endures all things ; for a love 
that never fails. And they would have us say 
to the buoyant youth who throng our colleges 
to-day, "Now abide faith, good works, sound 
scholarship, clear thinking, wise understand- 
ing, aspiring hope and divine love, these seven ; 
but the greatest of these and the all-inclusive 
is love." 




Life choices, we cannot say too often, should 
be undergirded with a religious view of the 
world. Each life is entitled to a personal and 
ethical view of God and the educational proc- 
ess must see to it that vocations are chosen on 
this high basis. 

Two years ago I was discussing with a group 
of college women in a Sunday-school class on 
Sunday the proper basis for choosing a life 
work. The problem-project method was used 
and we spent several sessions in arriving at 
the conclusion which finally seemed to satisfy 
the group. There were ten elements in their 
conclusion and they were cast in the form of 
questions as follows: 

1. Will the calling I contemplate give me 
opportunity to exercise my full powers? 

2. Will it afford me opportunity to grow 
and develop? 

3. Will it provide for the four-fold develop- 
ment of life, physically, mentally, spiritually, 
and socially? 

4. Will it provide a means of support for 



me and for those who are likely to be depend- 
ent upon me? 

5. Am I willing to make the necessary prep- 
aration for successful achievement in this vo- 

6. Is this vocation already overcrowded, or 
is the need great for workers in it? 

7. Are there any elements requisite for suc- 
cess in this vocation that would be distaste- 
ful to me? 

8. Do my friends think that I could succeed 
in this vocation? 

9. Is it a vocation in which I can engage 
with passionate love and devotion? 

10. Is it the calling that God would have 
me enter? 

There was no disposition to arrange these 
different planks in the platform of these young 
women in an ascending order of importance, 
but all of them agreed that the most important 
element was the tenth, and one of them cited, 
as showing the outstanding worth of number 
nine, the instance of a college professor who 
was chided by a successful student of his who 
returned to the college a quarter century after 
his graduation rich in this world's goods and 
commiserated his professor on the small sal- 
ary he had always received and asked him why 
he did not strike for higher pay. The pro- 


fessor replied that he was so much in love 
with his work that he would do it without a 
penny's compensation if he were only able to 
do so. I have never tried this project with a 
group of college men, but I have no doubt that 
their responses would be similar to those that 
came out of this discussion and investigation 
with this group of young ladies. 

Our present practice 1 in respect to recruit- 
ing for Christian life service involves ap- 
proaches to student bodies by denominational 
Boards of Education, by the student depart- 
ments of the Y.M. and Y.W.C.A's., by the Stu- 
dent Volunteer Movement for Foreign Mis- 
sions, by Foreign Mission Boards of the de- 
nominations, by Home Mission Boards of the 
denominations, by other boards of the denomi- 
nations, and by individual enterprises, indus- 
tries and institutions. There is certainly a 
multiplicity of approaches. Some of these ap- 
proaches are based on the highest possible 
ground for investing life in the service of oth- 
ers. Some of them are based on sectarian de- 
sire for denominational success, and some of 
them are based on a frankly utilitarian, not to 
say selfish, attitude toward business success 
in the world. 

1 See Securing Christian Leaders for Tomorrow, Cavert. 
Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. 



We have already spoken of the necessity for 
co-ordination, correlation and integration of 
religious agencies on the college campus. 
There is certainly a primary need in this di- 
rection when it comes to the matter of influ- 
encing students in the choice of their life- 
work. The subject is one that demands most 
earnest and prayerful consideration and a 
statesmanlike approach. We are treading on 
holy ground when we undertake to influence 
a young life in a given direction. Jesus in- 
quired what would it profit a man to gain the 
whole world and lose his own life. It is a fear- 
ful thing to bring pressure to bear upon a stu- 
dent in a college to enter a calling that will 
cause him to lose even partially this most val- 
uable possession in all the world. 

There is a decided difference now between 
the appeal that is made to college students to 
become foreign missionaries and the appeal 
that was made a quarter of a century ago. 
Then the emphasis was to invest life in the 
greatest enterprise in the world, but now such 
an appeal meets with small response, except 
on the part of mediocre minds. The real lead- 
ers in the student world are not looking for 
the greatest work in the world, but they are 
looking for the places where there is the great- 
est need of service without any reference to 


the greatness that will attach to them for en- 
gaging in such work. I have noticed how flat 
falls the appeal to college students now to pre- 
pare themselves, despite the inclusion of this 
idea by the Dartmouth students, to become 
leaders in the world. They are not interested 
in being leaders, for the most part, and cer- 
tainly those who have the Christian attitude 
toward life deprecate the idea of leadership, 
which to their minds savors of selfishness and 
autocracy, but the man who appeals to them 
on the basis of service growing out of actual 
needs on the part of their brother men always 
receives a hearty and approving response. 

The program for influencing life choices in 
an institution of learning should perhaps 
place first the insistence that the institution 
present a vital and positive and inescapable 
spiritual atmosphere, an atmosphere tense 
with altruism and magnifying service rather 
than profit as the motive for human conduct. 
The moral and ethical standards of a college, 
its time-honored institutional traditions, and 
Its spirit are positive and determinative far 
more than specific appeal because they are indi- 
rect in their molding influence. Two of the 
most successful colleges in the country in this 
direction are Ohio Wesleyan and Davidson, 
and in both of these institutions the influence 


that is most operative for determining the 
Christian vocation is the spiritual atmosphere 
that surrounds these institutions, that effec- 
tively motivates those who study there, and 
that activates their daily conduct. 

Dean William E. Smyser, 2 of Ohio Wesleyan, 
ascribes the success of his institution in de- 
veloping Christian leaders to the homes from 
which the students come, to the type of pro- 
fessors employed, to the return of successful 
alumni and preachers, to the annual revival 
(till recently), and to the chapel services. A 
scholarly description of Davidson's methods 
of achieving this same result is written by Dr. 
Robert L. Kelly, 3 who finds that the chief items 
in Davidson's program are a faculty of Pres- 
byterians, a homogeneous student group, 
chapel, Bible study, the church, the various 
student organizations, and the effort to get 
every man into some form of Christian work, 
together with what President Martin desig- 
nates as the giving of "a distinctly Christ- 
filled education to all students." 

A second item in a program of Christian 
motivation is undoubtedly the magnifying of 
the church as a redemptive and saving insti- 
tution in our social order. It is easier to bring 

Christian Education, vol. ix, p. 250f. 
*Ibid., pp. 341-352. 



students to the Christian choice of a life-work 
in an institution where the church is at the 
center, where it is the pulsating heart of the 
whole institution. Some may deplore this sit- 
uation, but it is a fact nevertheless, and to 
those who believe in Christian education it is 
most gratifying. 

A third item is that of personal work. This 
should be on a unified basis. There is not a 
professor on the staff who should not be anx- 
ious for opportunities personally to assist 
young people in deciding this momentous is- 
sue, but where possible it would be well to have 
a personnel office, intimately associated with 
the departments of Bible and Religious Edu- 
cation, able to furnish information in regard 
to all the professions and callings. In this 
way the student will be able to choose intelli- 
gently and not simply or primarily in response 
to emotional appeals. The method of the high- 
pressure revivalistic approach for recruits for 
the ministry, foreign missions, and other all- 
time Christian life callings has passed for most 
colleges and is destined shortly to disappear 
entirely from all of them. Christian students 
are tending to feel more and more their obli- 
gation to mediate the gospel message to their 
fellow students through personal living and 
personal work. Professors have always felt 


this obligation. Best results, however, accrue 
from faculty and student co-operation. 

Reference has already been made to the 
needs of the world as constituting a necessary 
basis for the intelligent choosing of a life- 
work. In addition to the personnel depart- 
ment, to which reference likewise has been 
made as helpful in this direction, it is well 
to bring in outstanding leaders in the various 
professions for addresses and for personal in- 
terviews, making sure in each instance that 
they will present the calling they represent 
from the standpoint of a Christian view of 
human need. Students always rise to an oc- 
casion that involves humanitarian considera- 
tions. Nothing touches their hearts and in- 
fluences their judgment like the realization 
of a need on the part of their brother men and 
a sense of their ability to satisfy or relieve 
that need, coupled with the conviction that 
they are personally responsible for the injus- 
tices and anxieties of their brothers and un- 
der obligation as a duty to right matters. 
This conviction, thoroughly Christian too, 
robs social service of its "Better than Thou" 
attitude, which is so distasteful to the very 
persons whom social workers aspire to help. 

Conferences and conventions bringing to- 
gether groups of students from various insti- 


tutions are another fruitful method of moti- 
vating life choices. These conferences and 
conventions, however, should not and do not 
now use high-pressure methods. They aspire 
to present the needs of humanity intelligently 
and to erect proper standards for the selection 
of a life-work. The thought is that not only 
the students who attend but those whom they 
shall influence when they return to their re- 
spective institutions will profit from such 
gatherings. The influence of fellow students 
of Christian mind and purpose is a source of 
motivation that should be garnered and more 
highly appreciated. Particularly do foreign 
students on an American college campus af- 
ford an opportunity to their fellow students 
who are interested in finding a needy place for 
their life energies. We have not used the for- 
eign student as we should in making real and 
concrete the fields of human need. 

But one of the surest methods of motivat- 
ing for Christian service is to induce students 
while in college to engage in voluntary Chris- 
tian endeavors. The institution that does not 
enlist its students in Christian effort while 
they are students will find it difficult to influ- 
ence them for Christian life callings when they 
have been graduated. We must not confuse 
Christian effort on the part of college students 


with participation in prayer services, group 
discussions, and social gatherings. We must 
succeed in having them engage in real Chris- 
tian service, many opportunities for which 
arise in the student body, and we must also 
have them render service of this character in 
the community, and in case of large institu- 
tions we must seek opportunities in places 
other than the local community of the college. 
We cannot insist too strongly on the primary 
need in this regard. 

Certain principles with reference to coun- 
seling in the choice of a life-work we must keep 
steadily in mind as we approach this sacred 
privilege of motivating for Christian life 
choices. We have already spoken of the mo- 
tive of service in contrast with the motive of 
profit as being foundational in choosing a vo- 
cation. There is a second principle, one that 
it would be profitable to emphasize repeated- 
ly and never to lose sight of, a principle of 
paramount importance — that the individual 
himself is to be given first consideration and 
not the cause. I think this is why the appeals 
made by the best-intentioned secretaries of 
recruiting for the ministry or for missions 
often fall flat. They fail to recognize the su- 
preme importance of the individual, because 
they see so keenly the greatness of the cause. 


There can be no question, however, that Jesus 
places primary emphasis on the man and sec- 
ondary emphasis on the work that he should 
engage in, however important that work might 
be. The individual life is what we must con- 
serve. We must help it find itself in service. 
When we have given proper attention to that 
item in recruiting, we shall not have to worry 
about the causes ; they will take care of them- 

A further principle we shall need to keep 
constantly in mind, because the student atti- 
tude is unmistakable in regard to it. I am re- 
ferring to the recognition of every calling that 
meets a human need as being primarily and 
essentially a Christian calling. The student 
mind does not recognize one calling as supe- 
rior to another. It recognizes no highest and 
no lowest in reference to any vocation that 
arises out of human need, and, if we insist 
that it is more important to be a preacher 
or a missionary than to be the captain of a 
great business enterprise or to practice law 
or medicine, we shall be met by a practical 
cynicism. Students will react unfavorably to 
our whole appeal and we will do more harm 
than good. What we need to do is to insist 
that students live as Christians in whatever 
enterprise they enter upon and that they 


make their life calling Christian in the serv- 
ice it renders humanity, or else change their 
calling. An appeal of this character never 
fails to strike a responsive chord in the heart 
of youth. 

One other item belongs in this catalogue of 
accepted principles, that certain persons 
should give themselves professionally and on 
an all-time basis to what are known as specific 
Christian callings, the callings that are con- 
nected, in other words, with organized Chris- 
tian institutions and programs; but at the 
same time we should insist that all other per- 
sons should be willing to do their part in pro- 
moting these same Christian enterprises. 

The Conclusion of the Whole Matter 

But all our discussion up to this point has 
been preliminary because we have not pro- 
vided the dynamic which is necessary in all 
genuine motivation of conduct. Where shall 
we get the dynamic that will influence these 
students in our colleges and universities to 
choose their life-work, whatever it may be, 
from the standpoint of a Christian philosophy 
of life? How shall our efforts at motivation 
flower and fruit in activation? That is the 
real issue ; that is the crux of the matter, and 
we must bring the power of the gospel mes- 


sage to bear upon their lives dynamically or 
our attempts at motivation will effervesce 
without effectuating themselves in conduct. 

As I have undertaken to think this matter 
through, it seems to me that there are at least 
four fundamental considerations that offer 
us opportunity to dynamicize the choice of a 
life-work, and these considerations arise out 
of corresponding needs and longings of the 
human heart. When satisfying answers have 
been given to these needs, the dynamic is sup- 
plied in each instance which makes of the indi- 
vidual who embraces them a crusader and, if 
need be, a martyr. 

These needs are an understanding as to who 
God is, as to who man is, as to what the world 
is, and as to what destiny awaits man. They 
have been briefly touched on in the first chap- 
ter, but they are so foundational that we must 
here elaborate them more fully. 

1. Who is God? The Christian definition 
of God as a loving heavenly Father is a most 
gripping concept. It accounts for progress 
in Christian countries. When a man realizes 
that God is his Friend, his personal Friend 
and more, that God loves him and is grieved 
when his conduct is not such as to promote the 
causes that lie near and dear to the heart of 
his loving Creator, there arises in his spirit 


the determination to do his bit to show his 
appreciation for such a beneficent and loving 
Being and, not only that, to inform every other 
man, woman, and child in the world of this 
great, gripping, inspiring truth which has pos- 
sessed his very soul. The idea that we enter- 
tain as to God is fundamentally dynamic in 
individual and social progress. 

2. Who is man? The second item in the dy- 
namic of the Christian gospel is the concept 
which it reveals as to man. When we turn 
to Mohammedanism and find that man is the 
pawn and plaything of an arbitrary and par- 
tial Being, we have a means of accounting for 
the injustice and the entrenched inequalities 
of the Mohammedan world. We can likewise 
account for the lack of progress in the coun- 
tries where Buddhism is influential in its 
teaching as to the undesirability of human 
personality and as to its ultimate disappear- 
ance or absorption in Nirvana. If man should, 
as Buddhism teaches, hopefully and inspira- 
tionally look to the time when he should cease 
to recognize himself as having individuality 
and separate spiritual being, there is no rea- 
son why he should put forth effort to improve 
human conditions. But when we turn to the 
Christian religion and find that man is the 
offspring of Deity, that he is made in God's 


image, and that he is brother to every other 
man in the world, here again we find a dynamic 
that transforms lethargy into action, that puts 
spurs under the feet, and nerves a man to ex- 
pend every energy he possesses in the effort 
to be the kind of brother to all men that the 
divine Fatherhood of God imposes upon him. 
We find in the Christian doctrine of the Fa- 
therhood of God and the brotherhood of man 
two of the greatest dynamics for moral and so- 
cial progress that can be conceived. 

3. What is the world? The Christian reli- 
gion too has a doctrine as to the world which 
is dynamic. Our religion does not regard the 
world as antagonistic to the best interests of 
man or in any way antithetic to his highest 
longings and cravings. The world is of such 
value, according to the Christian religion, that 
God himself is in love with it. It is an arena in 
which the life of man is to be so lived that the 
kingdom of Heaven shall be established there- 
in, and this teaching is made so personal in its 
appeal to the individual man that he becomes 
a zealot for making this kingdom real for him- 
self, for his fellow men and for God. 

4. What destiny awaits man? The destiny 
too which is promised those who accept the 
Christian program of life is gripping in its 
inspiration. This present life is but an epi- 



sode in an endless process of development, 
growth, and progress. The life we live here 
is to never end, but is to be filled with chal- 
lenges and opportunities of growth and devel- 
opment throughout the eternal years. We be- 
come partakers in our destiny of the Divine 
Nature with all its possibilities and privileges 
and opportunities to expand and to explore 
and to live. This inspiring destiny is a tonic 
to the spirit of man. It is an elixir of the spir- 
itual life. It is a dynamic that incites to irre- 
sistible effort to live such a life in the service 
of God and man and the betterment of the 
world as to fit the individual for entrance into 
the abundant destiny that awaits those who 
are worthy. 

So it seems to me that in all our efforts at 
motivating for Christian life choices we must 
keep forever in the foreground of our own 
consciousness these four mighty dynamics, 
that we may bring them to bear with all the 
propulsive power of which they are capable as 
motivating and activating influences in the 
minds and hearts of those whom we under- 
take to influence in the realm of Christian 
living. When we have engendered these dy- 
namics in the hearts of our youth as the mo- 
tive principles of their conduct, whatever 
calling they may choose, we may rest assured, 


will be motivated in terms of Christian ideal- 
ism, and the service of their lives wherever 
rendered will be promotive of the kingdom of 
Heaven. And in these dynamics of the Chris- 
tian life, including both motive and conduct, 
we shall find undoubtedly that energizing for 
which our greatest philosopher, William 
James of Harvard, so properly pleaded, "the 
moral equivalent of war." 







21H7 010513S 1 



Harper, William 

Character building in 


112 3Uch